5.8/10
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Begotten (1990)

Unrated | | Fantasy, Horror | 5 June 1991 (USA)
Presented in a surreal, gory and entirely visual manner, Begotten tells of the death of religion, the abuse of nature by Man and a nihilistic outlook on what life ultimately is.

Director:

E. Elias Merhige (as Edmund E. Merhige)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Brian Salzberg Brian Salzberg ... God Killing Himself
Donna Dempsey Donna Dempsey ... Mother Earth
Stephen Charles Barry Stephen Charles Barry ... Son Of Earth - Flesh On Bone
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
James Gandia James Gandia
Daniel Harkins Daniel Harkins
Michael Phillips Michael Phillips
Erik Slavin Erik Slavin
Arthur Streeter Arthur Streeter
Adolfo Vargas Adolfo Vargas
Garfield White Garfield White
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Storyline

God disembowels himself with a straight razor. The spirit-like Mother Earth emerges, venturing into a bleak, barren landscape. Twitching and cowering, the Son Of Earth is set upon by faceless cannibals. Written by Marty Cassady <mcass@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

None

Release Date:

5 June 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Začet See more »

Filming Locations:

New York, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$33,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Theatre Of Material See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Approximately eight to ten hours of optical work - re-photographing, visual treatments, and filtering - was required to produce one minute of film. The total post-production period for the 72-minute movie was eight months. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Title card: Language bearers, Photographers, Diary makers. You with your memory are dead, frozen. Lost in a present that never stop passing. Here lies the incantation of matter. A language forever.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

A Disappointment
10 November 2003 | by thymianeSee all my reviews

The first 3 or 4 minutes of Begotten were very promising; the graininess of the film, the obscurity of the scene in front of me, the silence, all made me feel like I was peering in on something forbidden, mysterious. I'd been told nothing of the film before I saw it except that it was "disturbing," and I thought initially that was just what I was going to get.

But after a while (and it wasn't a very long while, either) I just stopped caring. It stopped being worth the effort to struggle to discern the action going on in front of me, to piece the story of even the point of the non-story together, and sitting back and letting the imagery unfold in front of me, sort of accepting it passively for its own beauty didn't seem to work, either.

Some of the shots are beautiful, I'll admit it. And some of them are, for lack of a better word, disturbing. But I spent more of my time wondering "was this shot on film or on video, or both?" or "is that a continuous recording of crickets chirping, or is it a loop?" than "who are they, and why are they doing this?"

Because honestly I didn't care who they were, or why anything that happened on screen happened. I didn't feel any great need to. Half the time I was watching something purely abstract and non-representational, and the other half, what felt like old stock footage that someone had pieced together because they thought it looked neat, even though they had no context for what it was being shown. And it dragged on and on and on, going nowhere except where it had already been, so joy of joys, you get to see a variation on a scene that's already been beaten into the ground a couple times already, and then you get to see it again.

Mercifully, the film did eventually end, with what felt like it was supposed to be a "see, there's the point of all this" series of images, but in order to reveal the point, there needs to be a question posed in the first place, and that wasn't there. Everything just happened sort of matter-of-factly, without any emotional investment to it whatsoever, hoping it would get by on its grossness. Which it didn't. The grossness was deflated by how impossible it was to see what was going on anyway. It wasn't like peering through murk to find something you weren't sure you wanted to see. It was staring straight at the murk itself while it deluded itself that it wasn't something you couldn't bear to see.


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