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Begotten [DVD] [1991] [US Import]

Brian Salzberg , Donna Dempsey , E. Elias Merhige    DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Brian Salzberg, Donna Dempsey, Stephen Charles Barry, James Gandia, Daniel Harkins
  • Directors: E. Elias Merhige
  • Writers: E. Elias Merhige
  • Producers: E. Elias Merhige
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: World Artists
  • DVD Release Date: 20 Feb 2001
  • Run Time: 72 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000541WJ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 237,604 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Vision From A Nightmare........ 10 May 2010
I watched this film after stumbling across it on a "most disturbing films of all time" list somewhere on the net, and thought I'd give it a go!

This film grabbed me as soon as I started watching it - the opening text gives you a taste of things to come before fading away and leading you into the depths of a nightmare. I use the word nightmare - as I was confronted by a series of images amd sounds that I'd only experienced from looking into the deepest depths of my psyche and asking myself "What really scares me?".

This isn't your typical horror film by any stretch - filled up with shallow acting, cliche music with all the usual frights, jumps and gore - no, this is something far scarier and macabre. This is a true vision of hell......

The opening scene of a convulsing god, wrapped in a white sheets tied to a wall, choking and coughing up blood is enough to make your skin crawl - and the eerie soundscapes and music that accompany the whole film are chilling to say the least - in fact, quite reminiscent of Eraserhead.

The only reason I didn't give this 5 stars, is that it if I'm brutally honest, it does slightly lag in the middle and it's not always 100% clear what is happening.

This film won't be for everyone, but I doubt if you're reading this, you will be "everyone". You'll be someone who wants to see the other side and experience all the things that you thought about that scared you - that were too abstract to put into words or images.

If you're looking for a real horror film without all the cliches, this is something you should watch.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Film As Artifact (or vice versa) 15 Jan 2005
"Begotten" is Elias Merhige's first film; he started out as director of the 'theaterofmaterial" and went on to direct the film "Shadow of the Vampire". This is an extremely odd film that ideally should have turned up anonymously in someone's basement or an archaeological site; it looks like a much-battered silent film made by people who knew how to work a movie camera but were ignorant of cinematic conventions. But they had a mythic story they desperately wanted to tell to future generations, and so they told it.
A God-like being is dying in agony and uses a straight razor to speed the process. A woman is born from his corpse and impregnates herself, giving birth to a helpless, palsied creature who is deified and then sacrificed by the tribal creatures who inhabit his world. The cycle of life starts over again as plants spring up from the spot where his body and the body of his mother are buried.
It sounds grim, and it is, but there is a note of hope at the end. But still-- this is a very disturbing movie. The soundtrack consists mostly of natural sounds (there is no dialogue); as mentioned before the image quality is that of a very old silent movie (Merhige went to great lengths to make it look that way), and the horrific episodes look authentic precisely because they aren't glossy or art-directed. This is not a film for all tastes, but the viewers who appreciate it will find it to be extremely haunting.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Film Scorched By Nuclear Warheads 9 Aug 2007
By Brady Orme VINE VOICE
There really isn't much one can expound when reviewing a film like this - When you're basically presented with a simple montage of images mashed-up in a Machiavellian Rorshach test, you make of it what you will. But I suppose everyone should have an opinion.

You think violent death, gang-rape and graphic vomiting would result in a film not far from the visceral horror of "Cannibal Ferox", but when it's degraded to the point of being soaked in a brand of bile bleach, it becomes something else entirely. Some may find this film as much a part of the "horror" genre as the above, whilst others (myself included) will find it more of a perverse mockumentary, a product of the History Channel if somebody had injected it's production crew with Agent Orange.

Like the film itself, a review had to remain ambiguous and open-to-interpretation. Just watch it (if you can find it), and you may find it thoroughly unique at least.
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