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The Embalmer (2002) More at IMDbPro »L'imbalsamatore (original title)

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Down 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Ugo Chiti (story) &
Massimo Gaudioso (story) ...
View company contact information for The Embalmer on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 September 2002 (Italy) See more »
Peppino is an aging taxidermist constantly ridiculed for being short and somewhat creepy. He meets Valerio... See more » | Add synopsis »
9 wins & 14 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A Deeply Unsettling and Merciless Experience See more (14 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Ernesto Mahieux ... Peppino Profeta
Valerio Foglia Manzillo ... Valerio

Elisabetta Rocchetti ... Deborah

Lina Bernardi ... Deborah's Mother
Pietro Biondi ... Deborah's Father
Marcella Granito ... Manuela
Giuseppe Arena ... Workshop's Owner (as Beppe Arena)
Bernardino Terracciano ... Boss
Rosario J. Gnolo ... Entrepreneur
Vincenzo Puocci ... Gangbanger #1
Renato Puocci ... Gangbanger #2
Valentino Puocci ... Gangbanger #3
Aldo Leonardi ... Deborah's Boss
Nadia Carlomagno ... Peppino's Friend #1
Rita Brugnoli ... Peppino's Friend #2
Livia Rasetti ... Peppino's Friend #3
Salvatore Felaco ... Dead #1
Ferdinando Iannucci ... Dead #2
Antonella Lori ... Boss's Wife
Carlo Del Sorbo ... Undertaker
Ana Elena Chantzis ... Kid
Ciro Fortunato ... Kid
Carmine Migliaccio ... Kid
Antonella Paparano ... Kid
Maria Puocci ... Kid
Roberta Puocci ... Kid
Sabrina Puocci ... Kid
Valentina Puocci ... Kid
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Francesco Apolloni ... Mechanic (uncredited)

Directed by
Matteo Garrone 
Writing credits
Ugo Chiti (story and screenplay) &
Massimo Gaudioso (story and screenplay) &
Matteo Garrone (story and screenplay)

Produced by
Domenico Procacci .... producer
Original Music by
Banda Osiris 
Cinematography by
Marco Onorato 
Film Editing by
Marco Spoletini 
Production Design by
Paolo Bonfini 
Costume Design by
Francesca Leondeff 
Makeup Department
Rudia Cascione .... second makeup artist
Bruno Conzadori .... hair stylist
Claudia Marini .... hair stylist
Isabella Morelli .... makeup artist
Production Management
Sandra Bonacchi .... assistant unit manager
Gianluca Chiaretti .... unit manager
Luigi Lagrasta .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Adriano Chiarelli .... second assistant director
Salvatore Sansone .... first assistant director
Art Department
Giovanni Cuorvo .... assistant propman
Sergio Cuvato .... propman
Giovanni Della Ragione .... assistant propman
Bruno Melappioni .... propman: stage
Sound Department
Paolo Amici .... sound effects editor
Marta Billingsley .... sound editor
Elena Denti .... boom operator
Alessandro Feletti .... sound editor
Maricetta Lombardo .... sound
Danilo Moroni .... sound mixer
Daniele Quadroli .... sound designer
Daniele Quadroli .... sound effects editor
David Quadroli .... sound effects editor
Fabrizio Quadroli .... sound effects editor
Special Effects by
Paolo Ricci .... special effects
Sergio Stivaletti .... special effects
Visual Effects by
Fabrizio Pistone .... digital artist (uncredited)
Corrado Rizzo .... visual effects (uncredited)
Gian Luca Rizzo .... visual effects producer (uncredited)
Fabrizio Storaro .... visual effects supervisor (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Giovanni Angeletti .... generator operator
Antonio Celeste .... second camera operator
Fabio Clemente .... key grip
Amerigo Crispi .... grip
Greta de Lazzaris .... first assistant camera (as Regine de Lazarris)
Massimo Dechellis .... electrician (as Massimo De Chellis)
Matteo Garrone .... camera operator
Alessandro Gelmini .... grip
Giampiero Manea .... generator operator
Michele Mattone .... electrician
Marco Metaglini .... grip
Claudio Nardi .... electrician
Simone Pierini .... first assistant camera
Emiliano Pilliu .... electrician
Alessandro Sensoli .... second assistant camera
Claudio Serantoni .... grip
Marcello Tallone .... gaffer
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Giovanni Addante .... assistant costume designer (as Gianni Addante)
Editorial Department
Mario Cinotti .... assistant editor
Antonio Salvatori .... color timer
Paola Traverso .... assistant editor
Neri Nazzareno .... final colorist (uncredited)
Music Department
Gianluigi Carlone .... musician: sax, keyboard
Roberto Carlone .... musician: trombone
Quartetto Euphoria .... musician: strings
Giovanni Guardi .... music coordinator
Paolo Iafelice .... music recordist
Carlo Macrì .... musician: tuba, drums
Enrico Rava .... musician: trumpet
Roberto Vernetti .... music producer
Roberto Vernetti .... programming
Transportation Department
Massimo Barillari .... driver
Other crew
Riccardo Amorini .... production coordinator: Fandango
Enrico Barone .... script
Fabio Boccoli .... assistant production secretary
Barbara Cirulli .... cashier
Maria Continella .... production coordinator
Alessandra De Rubeis .... administrator: Fandango
Sonila Demi .... secretary: Fandango
Paolo Di Gravio .... chief administrator
Gianni Di Gregorio .... continuity
Sonia Ferri .... secretary: Fandango
Patrizia Galanti .... administrator: Fandango
Salvatore Giliberto .... cashier
Francesca Granocchia .... administrator: Fandango
Giovanni Guardi .... production coordinator: Fandango
Francesco Melis .... runner: Fandango
Gaia Narcisi .... production secretary
Franca Palmulli .... crowd marshall
Laura Paolucci .... executive production development: Fandango
Guendalina Ponti .... legal consultant
Cesare Pozzi .... financial consultant
Alessandro Sogliuzzo .... assistant unit manager
Daniela Staffa .... press agent
Luigi Venturi .... runner: Fandango
Monica Verzolini .... script
Claudio Zampetti .... production accountant
Tina Cascella .... thanks
Claudia Conte .... thanks
Vincenzo Di Stefano .... thanks
Pina Esposito .... thanks
Nicola Giuliano .... thanks
Massimo Mahieux .... thanks
Klaus Mondrian .... thanks
Paola Nazzaro .... thanks
Mario Vittoria .... thanks
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"L'imbalsamatore" - Italy (original title)
"The Taxidermist" - USA (subtitle)
See more »
101 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The movie is loosely based on a true fact, the murder of taxidermist by his protégé in 1990.See more »
I'm Your ManSee more »


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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
A Deeply Unsettling and Merciless Experience, 25 March 2010
Author: jzappa from Cincinnati, OH, United States

Matteo Garrone's deeply morbid subjective reflection from Italy is an insightful musing of two characters, and then a third which works as an agitator. The short man finds the tall man at the zoo, where he is watching a vulture. The short guy, named Peppino, is a sweet talker. He's about 50, balding, under 5 feet tall. The tall guy, named Valerio, is a head turner, about 20, attractive, over 6 feet tall. As they struggle to recall where they've met before, the perspective periodically shifts from the humans to the vulture, a bird that survives by detecting dead meat. The picture is mangled, the sound is dampened, and we get an inverted look of the bird blinking its eyes. Valerio says animals are his strongest interest. Funny, says Peppino, they're also his. He is a taxidermist.

Peppino, with a light manner and a genial grin, is a beast of prey who likes to entice young men with his money and favors. Valerio, who is told extraordinary things about his Adonis-like looks, is not very smart, and likes to be charmed. Peppino works by artifice, taking Valerio to clubs and hiring hookers for parties; the two friends end up in bed with the girls, and Valerio doesn't see that for Peppino, the girls are the snare and he is the sitting duck.

The Embalmer is adept at camouflaging its real essence and rattling us with the shifts of the plot. Among the movie's charades are not all overstated, but eerily implicit. Does Peppino see himself as a homosexual, or as a philanderer who likes good buddies and is open-minded in bed? Does Valerio know Peppino wants him? Does Valerio favor Peppino's money or Deborah's abundant sexual skill? Is Valerio totally retarded? Twice he infuriates Deborah by standing her up; he continues go along with Peppino's insistence upon just one more time. Is it a defect or an advantage of the film that we don't always know what occurs? Another intended question I think, as we ponder over Valerio, a babe in the woods who, when he's not with the one he loves, loves the one he's with, if he loves at all.

This incredibly unsettling and implacable experience takes place largely in Italian beach towns, but in a gray season, against chilled, steeled skies. The sea is nonetheless far away and dejected, and Garrone's images bleed the life out of some scenes. The music is a sobbing, deeply haunting jazz abstraction. This is not a comedy or a sexploitation pic, but a prurient matter concerning two obsessed pursuants and their prey, whose physicality may have made life such a breeze for him that he never got the dexterity to live it.

It may sound absurd that a balding old midget could seduce an apparently heterosexual young Apollo out of the arms of an insatiable woman, but after Deborah checks Peppino out, she knows she has to take him seriously. What the short man wants, he goes after with skill, guile…and desperate longing. And it's compelling to watch him maneuver.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Embalmer (2002)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Was I the only one that felt bad for Peppino? Karl_Anders
Best Italian Contemporary Film Ever darkosilencIO
Did I miss something? ddavis-14
Amon Tobin? RatiganGoneMad
that gal that play deborah......... knickman666
english and other foreign language subtitles on dvd yukka_kuopomakki
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