Funeral, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: -3 1/2

Hollywood's fascination with “the mob” continues in this depressing portrait of a crime family set in the 1930s. The three Tempio brothers, Ray (Christopher Walken), Chez (Chris Penn) and Johnny (Vincent Gallo), are taught to to kill gangster style as a coming of age exercise orchestrated by their father. Now grown, they are mourning the death of the youngest brother, Johnny, who has been executed. Ray and Chez are determined to find his killer. They are both family men whose wives live in constant fear of what horrible fate awaits the rest of the family. Through flashbacks we learn just how close the brothers are. There's little to enjoy in this “family” film. Johnny's body lies in an open casket in the living room while bewildered children stand beside it, the women wring their hands and the men torture and kill anyone they suspect might be responsible. The Funeral will appeal only to those who think that good acting justifies a pointless, depressing film.

Bloody, gory mob killings include a man stabbed and bleeding to death, a man who shoots himself in the mouth, merciless beatings and point blank shootings. Accompanying the violence is continual foul language, including 44 f-words, 17 s-words and three regular profanities. The brothers share everything, even prostitutes, and one particularly explicit sex scene should have earned the film an NC-17 rating. Another graphic sex scene is shown in a pornographic movie at a house of prostitution, and implied sex occurs between one of the brothers and a teenage girl and later with his wife. The irony of these Italian gangster families is that they always seek a priest to insure their loved ones go to heaven. One priest does tell one of the wives that their going to mass isn't enough to call themselves Christians. In fact, he says their lifestyle is atheistic. Disgusting, offensive, and meaningless describe THE FUNERAL, which deserves to be buried alongside Johnny.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
October Films, 45 Rockfeller Plaza, NY, NY 10111

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (8) times—All Moderate

Obscene Language: Many (62) times (44 f-words, 17 s-words, other 1)

Profanity: Few (3) times—Regular (G-d 2, C 1)

Violence: Incessant—Severe (man stabbed in stomach, point-blank shootings, boy instructed by father to shoot man in face, man shoots self in mouth, beatings)

Sex: Few times (two graphic scenes with breast and rear nudity, one in porn movie; implied once with teenage girl, another with wife)

Nudity: Few times in sex scenes, breast and rear nudity

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Crude references to sex, scenes in house of prostitution

Drugs: Alcohol drinking, smoking

Other: Priest warns wife that family's gangster lifestyle is destructive and atheistic

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Masochists

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