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

L' Imbalsamatore (The Embalmer) (The Taxidermist)


Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 32
Fresh: 26 | Rotten: 6

Critics Consensus: Intriguingly creepy and unsettling.

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

Critics Consensus: Intriguingly creepy and unsettling.


Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 834


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 … More

Drama , Romance , Art House & International , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
Ugo Chiti , Matteo Garrone , Massimo Gaudioso
In Theaters:
May 18, 2004
First Run Features - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for L' Imbalsamatore (The Embalmer) (The Taxidermist)

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.

Full Review… | December 11, 2003
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | November 14, 2003
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | November 13, 2003
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Seductive, suspenseful psychological drama.

Full Review… | October 2, 2003
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic


Full Review… | October 2, 2003
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Mahieux ... builds a character so relentlessly powerful and creepy that The Embalmer leaves an aftertaste -- we can practically smell him.

Full Review… | September 26, 2003
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | May 22, 2004

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

Full Review… | April 19, 2004

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

Full Review… | December 29, 2003
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.

Full Review… | December 12, 2003

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

Full Review… | November 14, 2003
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.

Full Review… | November 5, 2003

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.

Full Review… | October 8, 2003
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.

Full Review… | September 25, 2003
St. Paul Pioneer Press

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

Full Review… | July 22, 2003
TV Guide's Movie Guide

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