Combustible Celluloid
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With: Ernesto Mahieux, Valerio Foglia Manzillo, Elisabetta Rocchetti, Lina Bernardi, Pietro Biondi, Benardino Terracciano, Marcella Granito
Written by: Ugo Chiti, Matteo Garrone, Massimo Gaudioso
Directed by: Matteo Garrone
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Language: Italian, with English subtitles
Running Time: 96
Date: 30/04/2002

The Embalmer (2002)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Getting Stuffed

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Buy The Embalmer on DVD

It can be awfully tough to follow a hero who stumbles blindly through a dangerous story when the obvious pitfalls set off alarm bells for the rest of us. Who can identify with such a dunce? While visiting the zoo, handsome Valerio (Valerio Foglia Manzillo) meets a crazy old pint-sized taxidermist, Peppino (Ernesto Mahieux), and quits his job to become an apprentice. But when Valerio meets the gorgeous Deborah (Elisabetta Rocchetti), Peppino gets deadly jealous. Director Matteo Garrone and cinematographer Marco Onorato use dramatic shadows to cook up some memorable images -- most notably that strung-up cow on the film's poster -- but this story is far too transparent to hold our attention for long.

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