The Taxidermist (2018) / Fair use doctrine.

MOVIE Review: The Taxidermist

The Taxidermist/Luke RamerThis week I sat down to watch the Indie horror film The Taxidermist. The title alone intrigued me, as there are not a lot of films that tackle this premise. The Taxidermist is the story of Leo, a struggling artist in the taxidermy field. His wife Veronica works while Leo is a stay-at-home dad who picks up taxidermy jobs. One evening while working in his garage, Leo is paid a visit by a man named Kristoff who presents Leo (whom he calls the best in his field) with an unusual request. He wants Leo to stuff and mount his wife. Leo turns down the request, but Kristoff offers $30,000. Leo thinks but still denies the request. Kristoff leaves disappointed.

Leo and Veronica’s daughter Abigail receives a diagnosis of cancer, which causes friction between the couple as they cannot pay the bills. Faced with no options, Leo calls Kristoff and accepts his previous request to stuff and mount his wife. Leo begins his work and drinks while completing it. After he finishes, while in a drunken stupor, he envisions the mounted corpse coming to life and seducing him. This creates a masturbation scene with Leo and the corpse.

The Taxidermist/Luke RamerLeo astonishes Kristoff with the finished product and is paid the $30,000. Kristoff, of course, wants more work done and tells Leo there is an exhibit coming up. He offers Leo half a million dollars to produce 10-12 more “works of art”. Leo accepts the offer and gets to work on the bodies brought to him. Leo receives an invite to attend a masquerade event where his work is on display. During a Q and A, Leo explains his art where he explains his process and motivation.

The Taxidermist/Luke RamerDuring the exhibit, Leo discovers his work is being used for sexual purposes and becomes enraged. He burns the house down with everyone inside. Leo snaps. He goes home and in the morning shows Veronica all of his money and one example of the art he created.

There is the plot with no real spoilers. I loved the premise of the film because, as I mentioned before, there are not a lot of films that tackle taxidermy. The plot was solid, and it was fun to see which direction the film would go.

The Taxidermist/Luke RamerThere were, however, a few hiccups in the story and production. Let me qualify this by saying that this film is a low-budget Indie film and with a low budget come sacrifices. There are a couple scenes (one in particular with the couple arguing) where the audio fluctuates and does not keep to one level. There are some cracks in the audio as well. The ending of the film comes with little surprise, and I figured it out in the first 30 minutes. I find that difficult in horror because it leaves little to the imagination.

For the positives. The taxidermy scenes were done extremely well. The music complementing them added a nice touch as well. The premise made the film interesting to sit and watch also. The realism of the art of taxidermy made the story flow because it gave visuals. The real issues the couple faced added an accurate look at daily life.

Overall, this film showed several pros and cons. The original storyline is a major plus. It does move slowly in the first half hour which does not draw the viewer in, and that is a con. What filmmaker Luke Ramer achieved, though, was the creation of a character — Leo — that viewers will care about. He is not evil or twisted when the film begins, but he makes a choice out of necessity which leads him down this path of human taxidermy. All in all, The Taxidermist is not a great film, but it is passable. If given a larger budget, Ramer could have pieced together a knockout film based on his premise alone.

Overall Grade: C

Watch the trailer and let us know what you think.



Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint

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