The Final Member (2012) Poster

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6/10
A New Approach...Likable or not ? That's your call.
ghosh7721 June 2014
This documentary is related to "The Icelandic Phallological Museum". (http://www.phallus.is/en)

A person with a different choice starts collecting penises of different species. One day it grows up to a small museum in Iceland, probably the only of its kind.

The documentary begins with the curator's wish to have his collection completed by having a human penis. Donors are few. Two persons agree. One from Iceland, another from America. Then the documentary goes on with the happenings.

The film has objectivity. Photography is great. Beauty of Iceland is present in many frames.Music is perfectly blended with the film.

Obviously, this documentary is NOT about biological interest, rather it focuses on human psychology.
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8/10
Seriously, except for a wince or two, I smiled through the whole movie..
rockenkay29 June 2014
A simple documentary about the life of two penis donors and the curator of a phallus museum..

While the penis is presented as the main character in the movie, the director underplays the stereotype attached to penises and lets the viewer follow along, free to have our own reactions without prompting from theatrics..

It's a straight forward documentary and while there are a few exposed penises, it's not a sexual movie,, it's a peek into the psyche of men who love their penises..

I gave it an 8 rating because I found it interesting and as documentaries go, well done..
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8/10
A museum that needs one final endowment
StevePulaski4 August 2014
I remember a few years ago in my sophomore year health class, learning about the obligatory sex organ unit, being deeply immersed in my internal thoughts about human sexuality so-much-so that you couldn't give me money to tell me what my teacher was talking about. My mind kept circling back from films I've seen that touched on sex, to romantic encounters people might have with each other, to the point I want to make here, that the penis and vagina are really not that attractive organs. Men have the luxury of having two immediate go-to body parts on women to feed their eyes, which are obviously the breasts and the buttocks, but women don't have that same luxury. Yet the organs we can't see - and the ones we ultimately desire to see the most - are arguably the two most hideous things on our body; but we're attracted to them.

I bring this up because Siggi Hjartarson, the owner and founder of the Icelandic Phallological Museum, clearly finds the male sex organ attractive enough to construct and operate the only museum dedicated to housing penises of hundreds of different animals. The museum opened up in 1997, and inside, Hjartarson has severed mammal penises encased in formaldehyde for proper preservation and puts them on display with a vivid history behind each endowment. However, while Hjartarson has several penises from extinct species, and even a humongous one that once belonged to a sperm whale, he is missing a penis from a species that has billions of functioning ones right now - the homo sapien.

That's where the documentary The Final Member comes in; a film just a tad over an hour long that shows Hjartarson's impressive collection as well as his quest to obtain the penis that will complete his collection. Hjartarson's health condition is greatly deteriorating, and while he has two men interested in donating their penises to the museum, he wants to be able to see the museum complete before he dies. The museum was founded after he received a bull's penis as a joke from a friend and, upon doing research, found the idea of opening a phallological museum intriguing and playfully taboo. Contrary to public perception and initial assumptions, Hjartarson's purpose of opening the museum is the furthest thing from being pornographic. Hjartarson, much like myself, admires the notion of how taboo and off-color it is for someone to mention penis in public, despite half of the world having the sex organ. The awkward part about the penis is that people make it awkward.

In efforts to track down a human penis to complete his collection, Hjartarson finds two men, one of them named Pall Arason, a well-known Iceland womanizer who agrees to donate his penis to the museum when he dies. Another man is an American by the name of Tom Mitchell, who is perfectly willing to donate the museum his penis while he is still alive, hellbent on making his penis the most famous penis in the world. Mitchell even goes as far as to get a tattoo on the head of his penis, and has ambition to write a comic book series on his in pursuit of his goal.

The Final Member works to show the different ways people want to appreciate and commemorate their own sex organs, to which I say continue and let flourish. Hjartarson has found a quirky, unique way to inspire thought and curiosity into something so frustratingly and unjustifiably taboo in a manner that allows education and curiosity to flourish, while maintaining a successful business all the more. The documentary is never too long, is consistently entertaining, and almost operates like a fictional film, with its quirky situations and focuses, but never in such a way that the distracting and often perplexing "mockumentary" features are played for gimmicks. This is a genuinely fun, thoughtful, and surprisingly moving little gem about a museum in dire need of one final endowment.

Directed by: Jonah Bekhor and Zack Math.
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10/10
A very excellent documentary and window into a slice of life
cemaginnis28 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
WARNING POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT: While this is a documentary and the final outcome of the "drama" part of it was, and is, publicly reported all over the world as the "competition" was happening, I do make comments which indicate "who lost," so if you have never heard of this actual news item, this review may "spoil" that part of the story for you. Think of it as if you are studying the history of a small country which experienced a civil war and you had never heard about it. The outcome is a matter of public record and can't be changed, but you might be the type of person who enjoys "getting" there as 95% of the fun.

OK, so I just watched this documentary movie and it is very interesting and done in excellent taste. It gives considerable attention to history of the museum and it's founder, Sigurður Hjartarson. When the the drama of "who the first human donation would be" was actually happening, I was following it.

After watching this, I am very glad with how it turned out. In my opinion, Tom Mitchell was (still is?) a total jerk and the consummate ugly American with all of his conditions, planning and control issues, even to the point of proving medical need to an American doctor as to why he should have his penis removed. It is interesting that once it was all over, he did not have the procedure done. So... just which was bigger, his medical need, his ego, or himself personified?

Yes, he made me that angry. I HATE ugly Americans. They shame my country.

But, it is an very good watch. I highly recommend you check it out.
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8/10
I went there just a few days ago, actually....
MartinHafer24 July 2015
Most of the time when I bring you an installment of my You Ain't Seen Nothing' Yet series, I talk about a comedy or drama. However, in light of my recent trip to Iceland, I decided to bring you my review of an extraordinarily strange documentary. And strange it truly is...and I cannot believe that I saw it!

The Final Member is an ultra-strange film about a man in Iceland who runs the world's only museum dedicated to penises. At the time this movie was made, the Phallological Museum was housed in the small town of Husavik. Although this collection of mammal penises is second to none, the retired school teacher and owner, Sigurður 'Siggy' Hjartarson, felt the museum was lacking one essential item...a human penis. This film is about his obsession to get someone to donate theirs to his collection.

Now when it comes to collecting human penises, you cannot legally just hack one off a dead guy--you need to have all the legal niceties taken care of before the donor expires. Such an opportunity arises early in the film. An elderly Icelandic man, Páll, decides to donate his genitals upon his death. And, since he's in his 90s, it doesn't look like it will be long before the museum receives this donation. But there are two problems. First, due to his advanced age, the penis is possibly awfully small and wouldn't be a welcome addition to the collection. Siggy insists on one at least 5 inches in length. Second, and even more strange, is that there is another person ready, willing and able to donate their penis right now...while he's still alive! So, while you clearly can see that Siggy is an oddly obsessed man, his obsession is clearly minor compared to the American named Tom and his insistence that everyone see his member now AND that he be able to visit the museum to see it himself! But Tom's odd story doesn't stop there. Through the course of the film he comes up with a comic book character based on his penis (which he nicknames 'Elmo') and he begins to drive poor Siggy crazy with all his demands and suggestions! So what will happen? Will Siggy be able to complete his museum? And, if so, who will the first donor actually be?

Canadian filmmakers Zach Math and Jonah Bekhor have crafted an unusual yet expertly made film. In fact, it's done quite well in film festivals and has been nominated for several awards. So, despite the strange and possibly distasteful subject matter (depending on your perspective), the movie is extremely well done. Subject matter aside, Math and Bekhor have done themselves proud and the film is definitely worth seeing. Not surprisingly, it does have a few scenes involving penises that make this a rather adult film-- so don't invite Granny or Father O'Malley to come over to watch the film with you!

By the way, if you are wondering how I learned about the film it's because I just visited the Phallological Museum less than two weeks ago! While visiting Reykjavik I learned that the museum had recently been relocated there and I took my family. There I saw information about the film at the museum and couldn't wait to see it when my trip was completed. And, since it's available streaming through Netflix, it didn't take long for me to see this quirky documentary. The film and the museum are well worth seeing (especially the gift shop), and since I assume most of you will never make it to Iceland, you can at least travel there vicariously with this movie.
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8/10
The wonders of the penis
Imdbidia7 January 2017
The Final Member is one of the weirdest most unique documentaries I've ever watched. Just the subject sounds surreal, perfect for a movie of the absurd, real as real life can be. The subject could be enough to make a comedy, but this is not a comedy, it is a slice of life presented with humour. One of those documentaries you won't forget.

The Phallological Museum in Husavik (Iceland) is a tiny museum devoted to collecting and exhibiting penises from animals all around the word. A priori, it seems naughty or ridiculous, but it is actually not when you watch this doco and heard the reasons behind the foundation by its founder and curator Sigurður "Siggi" Hjartarson. This documentary follows Siggi in his quest to complete his collection of phalli with a human specimen, interviewing and communicating with possible donors in Europe and America; you cannot go out and chop somebody's willy, no matter how pretty, and put it in a jar even if it is for a museum.

The documentary is mostly a personality or character study, and we come to enter into the mind and life of Siggy and the possible donors, and become part of something truly unique. The two directors approach the subject with a good balance of curiosity, seriousness and interest, treating their subjects with utmost respect and consideration. The result is a serious documentary about the absurdity of life. You will laugh or rather chuckle, but still feel that none of the characters was ridiculed or mistreated to make this film. The characters are not ordinary people, they are extraordinary people, perhaps for the weirdest of reasons. Not everything extraordinary has to be beautiful or mainstream.

Not for the faint hearted.
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Who will donate the "final member"?
TxMike21 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I found this one on Netflix streaming movies. It is a hoot, done in a style much like "The Natural History of the Chicken." Haven't seen that one? Then get to it.

The gist of the story is a 70-year-old man in Iceland, circa 2011, has been collecting penises for 40 years. He isn't quite sure why he got into it, but I suppose it just was a fascination. He had penises in his collection from just about every animal species, except ... homo sapiens. When his fame and his collection grew he eventually turned it into a museum.

The biggest problem is that there are laws regulating what is done with human body parts. You can't just request something and have it given to you, even if it is a spare part, like a penis, that has no other use.

A parallel story is of a man, an American, with a very nice and somewhat long penis that he named "Elmo". He was already considering transitioning himself into an androgynous state, neither man nor woman, so he decided it would be a good idea to memorialize Elmo by donating his penis complete with scrotum and testicles to the museum in Iceland. They were well on their way to making this happen when the museum received an offer they couldn't refuse.

The whole documentary is pretty interesting and also funny. Not a topic you come across very often!
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6/10
A man and his Talleywacker!
danocaster19 June 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This was quite interesting and actually entertaining documentary about a Icelandic gentleman who has the world's only full Penis museum. Except, he needs one more willie to complete his collection. A human penis! I never really thought about it before and I didn't realize how difficult it is to procure some dead guys phallus but I guess it is. So it comes down to a legendary but old Icelandic guy whose unit is shriveling by the minute and a American guy so proud of his schlong he calls it Elmo. He's so proud of it in fact, that he's willing to have it removed completely while he's still alive and donate it to the museum. Its both hilarious and kind of blood curdling at the same time. I very much recommend that those with an open mind and a closed zipper should watch this, at least once anyways! Dano.
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8/10
A firmly told story that stays erect throughout its runtime
adogcalledstray20 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
(warning: this review may prematurely reveal some spoilers)

"The Final Member" is a gripping documentary with a single thrust - the quest by the phallological museum's creator and curator, Sigurður Hjartarson, to secure a human specimen. Although firm in this mission, the film does not make his motivations too pointed. In fact, he comes off as an entirely relatable and warm character that you will not find yourself shrinking from the cold biological and medical truths of what he's trying to achieve. You can just tell that he's not just a man of science, his heart is in fact throbbing with love for nature and the craft of his work.

Perhaps the only prickly character in this whole film was the American donor, Tom Mitchell, who wants himself to come first and foremost by being the first human to donate his member to the museum. However, he is in competition with a 90 year old Icelandic adventurer, Páll Arason, who has vowed to donate his parts upon the consummation of his life. And with this, Mr. Mitchell is willing to cut the line and beat him off to the finish... by planning to have his Elmo - what he has named his beloved sexual organ - surgically removed.

This is the main conflict in this story and I must say, it provides an intriguing clash where you have two phalluses competing for one spot - certainly not the first time this has happened in human history. The editing is masterful and it in fact tugs you left and right, making you unsure how things are going to finish off. But then, the climax comes, and in the end, one of them gets inside before the other, thus securing its owner's 'immortality' if you will.
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7/10
A Very Odd Museum
gavin69425 December 2014
Thirty miles from the Arctic Circle, in the northern Icelandic town of Husavik, stands the Icelandic Phallological Museum - the world's only penis museum. Over forty years, the founder and curator has collected every specimen from every mammal except for one elusive penis needed to complete his collection: The Human Specimen.

First off, this is not for the faint of heart. You will see many penises, human and otherwise, being cut and boiled... and one man talks about his penis (which he calls "Elmo") braking during a raucous. Guys will wince.

Beyond that, this is actually fairly educational. Not only as a psychological study of the sort of people who would donate their penis to a museum, but what sort of person would collect them. Now, unfortunately, the focus of this story is on the acquisition of the final penis, so there is not much discussion of previous samples. And that is a loss. From a Darwinian natural history point of view, certainly much could be learned about comparing the wide variety of penises and baculum in mammals.
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1/10
Made me want to take a shower
jake_fantom17 June 2014
Warning: Spoilers
It's a bit hard to tell if this is a mockumentary, or an actual documentary about some of the most clueless and repulsive people you will ever meet, cinematically or otherwise. Full disclosure: I turned it off after twenty minutes, a little after one of the main subjects, a disturbed idiot who wants to have his wrinkled organ surgically removed prior to death so he can bequeath it to the Icelandic Phallic Museum, has the head of the organ in question tattooed with an American flag. If this is a mockumentary, it is one of the most boring and unhumorous ever committed to film. If it is an actual documentary, it is really criminal to exploit such demented and damaged penis- focused human beings for entertainment purposes, instead of providing the care they need in an appropriate institution. Watch at your own risk -- your time would be better spent loitering.
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4/10
This is the kind of movie dorks release
Muhhh9 November 2014
Wow, a quirky subject! And it did sound like it could be interesting...but ultimately it's just pretty dull. The characters, who cares? It's just one big talk about their johnsons and it gets pretty tiring. Look at a documentary like, say, American Scream. That's sort of a quirky small scale subject for a doc, but there's a lot of layers and the people are interesting, and there's drama and laughs. I think film dorks like the Alamo bunch tend to get so caught up in a concept the rest doesn't matter. See how nerds reacted to th idea of Snakes on a Plane for example.

Basically what I'm saying is, sometimes the film dorks have the worst taste. Case in point: The Final Member.
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