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Begotten (1989)

Unrated | | Fantasy, Horror | 5 June 1991 (USA)
Presented in a surreal, gory and entirely visual manner, Begotten tells of the death of religion, the abuse of nature by Man and a nihilistic outlook on what life ultimately is.

Director:

E. Elias Merhige (as Edmund E. Merhige)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Brian Salzberg Brian Salzberg ... God Killing Himself
Donna Dempsey Donna Dempsey ... Mother Earth
Stephen Charles Barry Stephen Charles Barry ... Son Of Earth - Flesh On Bone
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
James Gandia James Gandia
Daniel Harkins Daniel Harkins
Michael Phillips Michael Phillips
Erik Slavin Erik Slavin
Arthur Streeter Arthur Streeter
Adolfo Vargas Adolfo Vargas
Garfield White Garfield White
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Storyline

God disembowels himself with a straight razor. The spirit-like Mother Earth emerges, venturing into a bleak, barren landscape. Twitching and cowering, the Son Of Earth is set upon by faceless cannibals. Written by Marty Cassady <mcass@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

None

Release Date:

5 June 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Začet See more »

Filming Locations:

New York, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$33,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Theatre Of Material See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stephen Charles Barry and Adolfo Vargas are the only actors who had another role after this movie. Barry appeared in Merhige's short film Bin Of Celestial Birds and Vargas in an episode of American Playhouse. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Title card: Language bearers, Photographers, Diary makers. You with your memory are dead, frozen. Lost in a present that never stop passing. Here lies the incantation of matter. A language forever.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
This is not entertainment. This is disentertainment.
8 November 2003 | by man-man-dot-orgSee all my reviews

I saw 'Begotten' last night, and I'm of two minds on the film.

On one hand, I appreciate it for being the total invert of a Michael Bay film. No dialogue, extremely stylized grainy B&W photography, some of the most genuinely horrific imagery ever set to film, and a very compelling use of sound (which nobody else seems to have really picked up on yet). It's a reflection on a theme, and it dares go where most filmmakers do not not only in terms of images, but of production and concept. It's a movie that most people don't understand, and if you read through these comments you'll find a lot of people whose lack of ability to figure this film out results in them shrieking about 'pretentiousness' with the fervor of a gibbon rattling the bars of its cage at feeding time. It genuinely shocked and disturbed me, and the last time a film managed to do that was a while ago.

On the other, this is a thirty-minute short that sprawls out to over an hour and a half. I understand that there might be artistic merit in using repetition and monolithic pacing as a bludgeon, but in this case it just doesn't help everything hang together. Imagine being approached by a ragged man on the street who grabys you by the shoulders and says something that completely confounds the core of your being... but then, instead of leaving your shattered and gibbering in his wake, he just keeps talking and talking and talking. By the end of the movie, I found myself glancing at my watch now and again.

This is not entertainment, people. This is disentertainment. This is how you deprogram people who just watched "Glitter." If you watch movies to be entertained, this will frustrate, confound, and possibly anger you. You don't approach 'Begotten' like a chocolate cake you want to eat because it tastes good. You approach it like something on the menu you have never heard of before, something you see furtive glances of through the kitchen door, something that's dark and glistens and twitches on its platter; something you order not because it will taste good, but because you just have to know what it's like.


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