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Taxidermia is a 2006 surrealist comedy-drama horror film directed by György Pálfi. An international co-production of Hungary, Austria and France, the film is a metaphorical socio-political retelling of Hungary's history from the Second World War to the present day.[4]

Taxidermia FilmPoster.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGyörgy Pálfi
Produced byPéter Miskolczi
Gábor Váradi
Written byGyörgy Pálfi
Zsófia Ruttkay
Lajos Parti Nagy
StarringCsaba Czene
Gergely Trócsányi
Piroska Molnár
Adél Stanczel
Music byAmon Tobin
CinematographyGergely Pohárnok
Edited byRéka Lemhényi
Amour Fou Filmproduktion
Eurofilm Stúdió
Katapult Film
La Cinéfacture
Memento Films Production
Distributed byPool Filmverlieh (Austria)
Memento Films (France)
Release date
  • 3 February 2006 (2006-02-03) (Hungarian Film Festival)
  • 19 May 2006 (2006-05-19) (Cannes)
  • 23 August 2006 (2006-08-23) (France)
  • 9 November 2006 (2006-11-09) (Hungary)
  • 9 February 2007 (2007-02-09) (Austria)
Running time
94 minutes[1]
BudgetHUF 500 million[2]
(US$2.4 million)
Box office$11,408 (US)[3]

The story is told by means of three generations of men from Hungary, beginning with a military orderly during the Second World War, moving on to an aspiring speed-eater during the Cold War, and concluding with a taxidermist during contemporary times. The film contains elements of dark comedy and body horror.



At a remote Hungarian military outpost, orderly Morosgoványi Vendel lives a wretched existence of servitude beneath the heel of his lieutenant, Öreg Balatony Kálmán. Condemned to performing menial duties for the officer and his family while sleeping in an unheated shack next to the latrines, Morosgoványi frequently escapes into fantasy. So realistic are these fantasies that in one ambiguous instance, Morosgoványi sleeps with and impregnates the lieutenant's wife and "wakes up" to find himself engaged in an act of sodomy with a slaughtered pig. Upon seeing this, the lieutenant promptly executes Morosgoványi and raises the son, Balatony Kálmán, as his own.

Decades later, Kálmán has grown into a champion Hungarian speed-eater. Coached and influenced by the strict Jenő, Kálmán's life revolves around training for the eventual day when the IOC recognizes speed-eating as a legitimate sport. After a bout of lockjaw at a Soviet event and eloping with fellow speed-eating champion Aczél Gizi, Kálmán resumes his rigorous training, even as Gizi gives birth to their son, Balatony Lajoska.

Some years later, Lajoska has grown into a dedicated, professional taxidermist. In contrast to both his parents' girth, Lajoska appears pale and impoverished, with a thin anemic frame and haunted visage. When not working from his taxidermy shop or failing in his attempts to lead a normal life, Lajoska purchases groceries for his father Kálmán, who has grown so monstrously obese that he cannot leave the chair in his claustrophobic apartment. Kálmán, who feeds butter to his caged cats, has nothing but harsh words for his son who, upon reaching his breaking point, abandons his father to his own prison. Returning later, he discovers that the cats have escaped their cages and, desiring meat, have eviscerated his father.

Lajoska stuffs his father and the cats. With little left to live for, he locks himself in a homemade surgical harness and through the use of sedatives, painkillers and a heart-lung machine, begins removing his own internal organs. Pumping his body full of preservatives and sewing himself up, he activates the machine that decapitates him, leaving behind a preserved statue. His body is displayed in an exhibit alongside the cats and his father.


  • Csaba Czene as Morosgoványi Vendel
  • Gergely Trócsányi as Balatony Kálmán
  • Piroska Molnár as Hadnagyné
  • Adél Stanczel as Aczél Gizi
  • Marc Bischoff as Balatony Lajoska
  • István Gyuricza as Hadnagy
  • Gábor Máté as Öreg Balatony Kálmán
  • Zoltán Koppány as Miszlényi Béla
  • Erwin Leder as Krisztián
  • Éva Kuli as Leóna
  • Lajos Parti Nagy as Dédnagypapa
  • Attila Lőrinczy as Pap
  • Mihály Pálfi as Baba


The film features music scored by electronic artist Amon Tobin, released on his 2012 compilation Boxset.[5] It additionally contains music written by the band Hollywoodoo during the end credits. The song is entitled "Erdő" (translated as "Forest") and is from the album "Karmolok, harapok" released in 2004, which directly translated from Hungarian to English means "I Scratch, I Bite". The music video is directed by Pálfi and contains many scenes from the film including copies of scenes containing various band members.[6]


Taxidermia premiered at the Hungarian Film Festival on 3 February 2006 before screening in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.[7] It opened in France through Memento Films on 23 August 2006, Hungary on 9 November, and Austria (also in Hungary) through Pool Filmverlieh on 9 February 2007.

The film received a theatrical release, albeit limited, in the United States on 14 August 2009. It was released in two venues by Regent Releasing and grossed $11,408.[3]

Critical receptionEdit

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 81% based on 47 reviews, with an average rating of 6.68/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Surreal and visually striking, Taxidermia is, at times, graphic and difficult to watch, but creatively touches on disturbing subjects with imagination and wit."[8] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 83 out of 100, based on 9 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[9] Deloret Imnidian of High on Films Website writes "Taxidermia is a delicious film for those who can digest it." in his 4.5 star rated review of the film.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "TAXIDERMIA (18)". British Board of Film Classification. 19 June 2007. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  2. ^ "Taxidermia (2006) - Box office / business". Internet Movie Database. 1 January 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Taxidermia (2009)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  4. ^ "". forum discussion. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Hollywoodoo - Erdő [Official Video] [HQ] on YouTube
  7. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Taxidermia". Retrieved 16 December 2009.
  8. ^ "Taxidermia (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  9. ^ "Taxidermia Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 19 June 2018.

Taxidermia Review on High on Films

External linksEdit