Review by Jonathan Lees (@jonNothin)

Directors: Jonah Bekhor and Zach Math
Running time: 75 minutes
✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✩✩
Score: 8/10

"This started as a joke," Sigurdor "Siggi" Hjartson, Iceland's premier expert of all things phallic, says near the beginning of The Final Member. A joke that involved a gifted bull's penis, that is. Thirty-three years after he acquired that first specimen, Hjartarson, the founder and curator of the Icelandic Phallogical Museum, stands proud like the members he collects, and unlike the dicks who are members of MoMA, his are, collectively, the real thing.

The fascinating subject of filmmakers Jonah Bekhor and Zach Math's engrossing documentary, is dedicated to the preservation of hundreds of penises, from the frightening and slimy whale dong to the unfortunate little bits of a hamster. For someone who's so long in the tooth, Siggi worries that he will leave this Earth without completing his collection and deeming it truly extraordinary, with the one final member. And, yes, he's desperately seeking a human penis.

It would take only one brief scan of The Final Member's synopsis to inspire snickers. One can already imagine the amount of guffaws let loose in a darkened theater at the onset of this documentary. So it's even more surprising that Bekhor and Math manage to never let their subjects spiral into total self-parody. And what subjects they are. Pall Arason, a 95-year-old swordsman known for balling over 400 women who didn't "want my penis go to waste" when he dies, is the first to mention his desire to donate his member. Then there's the overzealous American, Tom Mitchell, and his better known, not-so-private part, "Elmo"; he's determined to "breakthrough barriers for mankind." While larger and thicker in girth than Arason's penis, Elmo has the unfortunate distinction of still being attached to Tom, a much healthier donor.

The race is on, and, in scope, the limited focus on just these three gentlemen would cripple other films; here, though, you never want to leave their sides. The progression of each man's mission to donate their "member" to Sigg's collection becomes intensely personal, humorous, and oft times uncomfortable.

It'd be a strong setup for a proper, original horror film: A man, collecting the penises of the entire animal kingdom, goes on the hunt for the one that will make his collection truly renowned. The Final Member, however, is, instead, an endearing and dramatically suspenseful exploration of three men's genuine and personal quests filled with a true sense of offbeat charm far removed from crass reality shows and calculated quirk.

Review by Jonathan Lees (@jonNothin)