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Zoology

  • Film
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A woman grows a tail in a bizarre and rather brilliant Russian drama.

In the allegorical horror ‘Teeth’, a pubescent girl grew gnashers in her vagina, with very interesting consequences. Consider this Russian curiosity the middle-aged equivalent. Natasha (Natalya Pavlenkova) is a frumpy fiftysomething clerical worker in a zoo, who suddenly starts growing a long, fleshy tail. Naturally perturbed, she is at the mercy of paper-pushing docs whose insistence on more X-rays reach Kafka-esque proportions. One young medic, however, shows more than a professional interest, and an unlikely romance follows.

It’s a downbeat but engaging character study with plenty to say about female sexuality as well as bureaucracy, superstition and voyeurism (Natasha’s mother is constantly regaling her with local gossip and lurid stories from TV). It's slow moving but darkly funny and thought-provoking, anchored by a terrific performance from Pavlenkova as an unusual heroine who experiences an awakening that’s as much spiritual as it is sexual – though don’t mistake this for a feelgood movie. While it is more drama than horror, the tail stuff is a bit queasy in parts, but that is probably the point. If ‘Teeth’ and ‘Raw’ got your tail wagging, you’ll lap this up.

Written by
Anna Smith

Release Details

  • Rated:15
  • Release date:Friday 29 September 2017
  • Duration:91 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Ivan Tverdovsky
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