Your body is not ready for The Final Member. More than once you will feel a sudden, searing lurch in your loins — and not the twinge of pleasure. I mean an instinctive, visceral reaction, the kind that makes you grimace, seize up, even cry out. Your genitals will experience phantom sensations that, I want to strongly emphasize, won’t be good ones.
Furthermore, don’t eat while watching this documentary. In the literal first scene, a man is shown standing on the docks, chatting with a local fisherman. The fisherman hands him him a hefty, blood-stained plastic bag, which he then empties jovially onto a table. The camera pans over a mess of fleshy, slimy organs, freshly harvested from various sea mammals. I’m two minutes into the movie when this happens. “These are absolutely fantastic,” one of the men says.
Now we’re in the title sequence, and my stomach isn’t doing any better. We’re subjected to excruciating close-up shots of wrinkly, grotesque specimens preserved in formaldehyde. They’re striated like worms and disconcertingly pale, with thin, peeling skin.
These, you may have guessed, are animal penises. And the guy on the docks, so in awe of his gelatinous bounty, is Sigurà°ur Hjartarson, also known as Siggi. This scruffy little Icelandic man did something nobody on earth had ever done, or probably considered: he founded a penis museum.
It wasn’t a sudden decision, but the result of a decades-long obsession. Back in 1974, when Siggi was a secondary school principal, he was given a bull penis as a joke. Apparently the joke just… never stopped being funny? Teachers — supposedly the adults in the room — continued bombarding him with animal phalluses. What was he to do? He learned to preserve them.
“My dad has been collecting penises as long as I can remember,” his daughter tells us casually, as if severed genitals were action figures or cigar boxes.
“More and more penises,” his wife says, “then it just got out of control.”
His wife really wanted all the damn penises out of the house, and thus: museum.
Siggi introduces us to his pride and joy, the Icelandic Phallological Museum, and it is a wonder to behold. In his 40 fucking years of collecting penises (respect, dude), Siggi has acquired a staggering array, including a near-microscopic penis bone from a hamster, a penis from an extinct cave bear which he describes as “very precious to me,” and this COMPLETE MONSTROSITY:
That’s a sperm whale dick. A third of it. “This is the part that leaks out when the animal dies,” Siggi explains. Oh my god. I think my soul is leaking out of my body and I am dying.
He’s clearly proud of his collection, and rightfully so. He has specimens from all mammalian species.
“Without the proper human,” he says seriously, “the collection is not complete.”
I get it. I so get it. This man’s entire existence is penises. His phone is shaped like a penis. His clock has penises for arms. There’s a display case in the museum housing wooden penis-inspired accoutrements, including cutlery, salt and pepper shakers, a serving tray, a travel bar, and a fucking gavel.
Can we please start using this gavel for court cases? Order in the court, please. The cock has decreed it.
The whole “teehee we’re on a human penis search” thing gets sobering real fast, though, as we learn that completing the museum is literally Siggi’s dying wish. His health has deteriorated, and he’s not sure how many years he has left. For extra depressing effect, we cut to Siggi strolling morosely through a colorless Icelandic country side.
Siggi will not die in peace, we’re told, without a human phallus to add to his collection.
We now enter a new phase of the documentary. It always comes, doesn’t it: a rivalry is introduced. There are two men, both vying to be the first human penis on display at the Icelandic Phallological Museum.
Essentially, it’s a race to die.
Our first contender is a pleasant Icelandic guy named Páll Arason. We meet him in a jaunty outfit, 93 years old, on a TV segment talking about donating his penis with the same exuberance as he might describe scoring a deal on Good & Plentys.
We’re told this dude is a womanizer, and I’m inclined to believe it when he presents a notebook in which he wrote down every time he got laid. 300 partners. Nice.
Now we meet Tom Mitchell, the other dude offering up his dick. He looks like a pencil eraser, and the first sentence out of his mouth is “I’m an American, and I’ve decided to donate my penis.” Cut to him riding a horse and tipping his cowboy hat into the sunset. That’s not a red flag at all.
Tom stares into the camera lens and, with unnerving confidence, strings together this actual series of words: “I felt ever since I was a kid that when the time came, I didn’t want my penis to go to waste when I die.”
Read that sentence again. Slowly.
Tom’s penis is 7 inches long, and as Siggi puts it, “great girth.” The member is nicknamed Elmo, a moniker given by his first wife, supposedly before the Muppets existed (citation needed). I am learning so much, too much, about this man’s dick.
Here’s where I start having a hard time following, because every sentence is unhinged. Tom explains, “I’ve always had a dream of not only Elmo being placed on display in a public place, but as a result, possibly some fame and fortune — not for myself, but for Elmo.”
Your wee wee can’t go on a shopping spree, my dude. What in the abject narcissism is this?
Tom continues to describe his vision, because of course there’s more: when museum visitors “first set eyes on Elmo and see this relatively large erect penis with an American design — stars and stripes, red, white, and blue — I’d like them to know that the largest and best one of the entire collection came from the states.”
So much to unpack here. Sir, we just saw a gigantic sperm whale penis reaching up to the ceiling — you will be nowhere near the biggest in the museum. And how is this American design happening exactly? Patriotic tinsel draped over the display case? A speaker playing some racist song? Are you gonna tattoo your entire dick?
This motherfucker better not get his wish. I am now actively rooting against him.
Cut to OH MY GOD WE’RE IN A TATTOO PARLOR.
I WAS KIDDING BEFORE, WHAT.
Jesus christ. This is actually happening. We’re at an establishment called Yoni Tattoo, and Tom is bragging to the hilariously apathetic tattoo artist that his piece will be around “thousands of years from now.”
Warning: what you’re about to see will shock you.
I’m going to put another sentence here just to give you time to prepare yourself emotionally.
We’re talking the most appalling, distressing, repulsive, offensive dick pic you may ever witness. Sorry, couldn’t choose an adjective.
Every time this man has sex, for the rest of his life, which I hope he never does, he’ll be fucking a woman with an American flag. She’ll be sucking on an American flag. He’ll jack off, staring at an American flag, probably jizzing over a photo of Trump.
That, there, is another reason you can’t eat while watching The Final Member. Because Tom Mitchell’s life choices will make you want to puke.
Traditionally, when donating a penis, you wait until the attached person is dead. But Tom doesn’t have time for such folly. He’s not keen on asking a friend to “make sure that my sex organs are cut off my cold, dead corpse,” so naturally, he wants to donate his penis before he dies.
I need a moment to process this, but I don’t get one, because suddenly Tom is consulting with a display case designer. He brings sketches, as an architect would, and presents diagrams of his plan, as a teacher would. He tells the designer he wants his dick displayed erect, with testicles, and with the “pubic scalp” also “harvested.”
I’m not often rendered speechless, but this has silenced me.
I have shriveled in distress.
I have become the ground.
So you wanna do it while you’re alive to relish in it? Siggi didn’t consent to be in your fuckin’ kink scene, Tom. Nor did the documentary crew, or the viewers for that matter. Nor did I.
It sort of crept up on me, this realization that Tom’s intentions were far from altruistic. Dude’s not here to contribute to science or education. He’s an egomaniac with an exhibition fetish.
I don’t want to give him the pleasure of my eyeballs.
Tom’s had three failed marriages and — shocker — now he has it out for women. Cutting off his genitals would allow him to be “immune to the distractions and the emotional loss and drain of energy.” Cool. Real red pill vibes. You know this fuckwad voted for Trump. He’s got MAGA written all over his cock head.
Siggi now seems so quaint and adorable, and also sane. My heart goes out to this humble, penis-obsessed man. He merely wants to “provoke people, to make them look differently at things.” Like me, he fell into a career not many people understand or even take seriously. He is pure and sincere, and he can really rock a cardigan. I’m so invested in his happiness.
I want, so badly, for Tom to have his dick “harvested” only for Siggi to ghost him.
I bet you’re wondering what’s going on with Páll Arason, Tom’s rival. Well, he’s just quietly aging, like a normal person. Nothing much to report there. Meanwhile, Tom has been emailing Siggi multiple times a day, inundating him with photos of his cock dressed as Abraham Lincoln (again, red flag) and updating him on his progression toward surgical removal. One subject line reads, do you want Elmo’s tattoo completely removed?
Too late. It is forever going to haunt me.
By the way, Tom wants a custody arrangement for his dick. He wants his severed penis in his possession during the off season. Reasonable. Normal. Typical.
When Siggi rightfully ignores him, because what the actual fuck, Tom gets cranky. “I think I need to check out other possible venues to display Elmo,” he attempts to threaten. PLEASE DO, and I hope you fail!
Siggi is totally nonplussed. He’s probably relieved.
Finally, we get a reprieve from Tom Mitchell. Five months have passed, and it’s snowing fiercely in Húsavàk. As indicated by the mournful score, Páll Arason is nearing death. Cue a depressing shot of him in bed, frail and sullen, close to crossing over to the other side.
“It has shrunk,” he murmurs. “All of it.”
I feel sad for him. He was hoping to give the museum more, but time had its way with his body.
The string section swells, signaling that Páll has died. Siggi drives silently in the white-out snow, to the funeral and then to the hospital. The mood in the room is somber until it’s broken by the objectively silly way the specimen is packaged: a plastic bucket wrapped in bright blue cellophane, tied up with a ribbon like an Easter basket.
Siggi’s brother and cousin are there, one of which is the doctor who performed the operation. He reads a poem he’s written for the occasion, and it’s oddly touching — the kind of reverence I’d appreciate if I were donating my genitals to a museum.
With the specimen secured, we return to Siggi’s workshop. The same workshop from the first scene, back when we were giggling at Siggi’s excitement and recoiling over his raw penises. Now, we watch him unwrap the most important one of all, enraptured.
“Yes!” he exclaims, lighting up. “Great. Fantastic. This is not so small! From a 95-year-old?”
As he gazes down into the bucket, I can’t help but smile with him.
Siggi has his final specimen. He can die happy.
Of course, our old friend Tom Mitchell won’t be happy to hear this news. But I sure am! I’m absolutely giddy. My notes for this part read “HAHAHA SOMEONE BEAT YOU TO IT BITCH,” because I am an extremely articulate person with a Bachelor’s in English.
“Things are happening here,” Siggi tells Tom on the phone. “With Mr. Arason, the old guy.”
Tom pauses. “You got Mr. Arason’s donation?”
“Okay. So have you actually gotten his penis yet, or…”
“Yeah, I got it.”
Tom then asks the question that seals his fate: “Is it just his penis or testicles too?”
When Siggi confirms it’s both, Tom stares blankly into space, his beady eyes darting around the room, for several long and deeply satisfying seconds. In an instant, with the death of another man, his so-called “lifelong dream” has been destroyed. Silenced by this realization, he finally replies “okay” in the most meek, dejected, pouty man way.
Sweet, sweet schadenfreude.