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L' Imbalsamatore (The Embalmer) (The Taxidermist)

L' Imbalsamatore (The Embalmer) (The Taxidermist) (2002)

tomatometer

94

Average Rating: 6.9/10
Critic Reviews: 16
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 1

Intriguingly creepy and unsettling.

audience

70

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 832

My Rating

Movie Info

Matteo Garrone's The Embalmer tells the sad story of a love triangle. Peppino (Ernesto Mahieux), a mob-connected dwarf who works as a taxidermist, establishes a working relationship with Valerio (Valerio Foglia Manzillo), who loves animals. The closeted Peppino, who carries a torch for Valerio, is threatened when Valerio takes up with Deborah (Elisabetta Rocchetti), who moves in with the pair. Soon the tension leads to horrible acts committed by and on the different members of the group. The

May 18, 2004

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All Critics (33) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (6)

In spite of some stiltedness, The Embalmer is an oft-intriguing examination of unquenched desire and the power of beauty.

December 11, 2003 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Masterful at concealing its true nature and surprising us with the turns of the story.

November 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
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The movie, a keen look at the way passion unravels and obsession destroys, creates a black mood, a sense of truth and an enduring chill that stay with you.

November 13, 2003 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
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Seductive, suspenseful psychological drama.

October 2, 2003 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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Engrossing.

October 2, 2003 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
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Mahieux ... builds a character so relentlessly powerful and creepy that The Embalmer leaves an aftertaste -- we can practically smell him.

September 26, 2003 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A twisted and fascinating tale, with a climax that's as logical as it is unexpected

May 22, 2004 Full Review Source: culturevulture.net
culturevulture.net

[Actor Ernesto] Mahieux adds layers of gentleness and false bravado in what could have been a stereotypical role.

April 19, 2004 Full Review Source: Film-Forward.com
Film-Forward.com

Despite its virtues, the picture comes across rather like something that has itself been disinterred from the fairly remote past.

December 29, 2003 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

The Embalmer is a movie that will keep fresh on your mind for a few days but probably won't be preserved in your memory for all time.

December 12, 2003 Full Review Source: TheMovieChicks.com

...does just about everything in its power to turn you off. And guess what? It works.

November 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)
Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)

With fewer sensational confrontations, The Embalmer is a major work. As it stands, it signals the emergence of an exceptional filmmaker.

November 5, 2003 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

If you find that you're part of this newly identified demographic with an affinity for gay little folk, disemboweled animals, sexy babes, and creepy voyeurs, consider your movie prayers answered.

October 8, 2003 Full Review Source: New Times
New Times

This story is far too transparent to hold our attention for long.

September 29, 2003
San Francisco Examiner

Once Peppino is identified as a sexual predator, the movie loses whatever compassion it had for him, seeming to imply that his obsession and his sexual identity are the same thing.

September 25, 2003 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

An effectively macabre and fiendishly entertaining tale of lust, unrequited love and the fine art of taxidermy.

July 22, 2003 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

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