The trailer for The Final Member begins benignly enough. The scene is set at the world’s only Phallological Museum, where curator Sigurður “Siggi” Hjartarson fauns over his extensive collection of – well, I probably don’t have to spell it out for you.
The Reykjavik Museum is home to the peckers of all Icelandic mammals with the exception of one – our own. “Why is it so difficult do you think to get a human penis for your museum?” asks an interviewer. I think the answer should be fairly obvious. We men cling to them like a solitary piece of driftwood in a hurricane, knowing that without our little heads, our big ones are hopelessly lost. Many of us can’t imagine life without them, so much so that death often sounds preferable to a prickless existence.
Filmmakers Jonah Bekhor and Zach Math show us the flipside of that coin with their study of the top two contending donors – the first, an elderly Icelander and noted womanizer named Pall Arason, who signs on to preserve his tool post-mortem, and a younger Texan named Tom Mitchell, whose gung-ho quest to put his own rod (playfully nicknamed “Elmo”) on display is sure to generate shouts of “‘Murica!”
Check out the trailer below and try to hold back your stifled WTF’s:
Freud would have a field day with this one, but despite the film’s phallocentric leanings, Siggi maintains that there’s nothing funny about his penis specimens. In an interview with TIME, he insists that his museum is “a scientific and cultural undertaking about which there’s no reason to be squeamish, and that there’s nothing erotic or pornographic about it.” That may be true, but it doesn’t stop the film from being a hilariously-mounted study of men and their boners, particularly two men and their quarrel for theirs to come out on top. It’s a more literal sword fight than some.
While that is the primary narrative focus of the film, Siggi believes it is misplaced. To him, there’s no difference between a human penis and that of a whale or mouse. We’re just a small “piece” of the puzzle. “The human is not really special,” he tells TIME. “It’s just one of the 96 species I’ve got.” If that’s not emasculating, I don’t know what is.