Dave White
Zoo Review

Dave's Rating:

5.0

… visually beautiful, soft-spoken …

Who's in It: Russell Hodgkinson, Richard Carmen, Jenny Edwards, John Edwards

The Basics: In 2005, a Washington man died of internal bleeding and a perforated colon after having sex with a horse. This documentary consists of interviews and reenactments with real-life "zoo" folks (aka people who like to do it with animals) playing themselves and with actors playing the parts of participants who didn't want to appear on camera.

What's the Deal? The filmmakers do a really amazing job of letting the subjects tell their own stories, and they don't pass judgment on them, even when they say that the animals are "happy to be involved." But I will, because unless your boyfriend is Mr. Ed or Francis the Talking Mule, then that horse doesn't have vocal cords to consent and let you know that it's in the mood for any sexual healing.

The Weirdest Thing: It's more sad than anything else. It's shot in a visually beautiful, soft-spoken way that never lets you forget that — Darwin Award jokes aside — there's a dead guy (called "Mr. Hands") out there with friends and a family who loved him. Of course, the other weirdest thing is how they got some of the real-life bestiality fans to be on camera, calmly protesting their innocence and love for animals.

How Much Gross Stuff You See: None, really. You hear some of the (possibly re-created) audio from one of the homemade tapes made by the people involved. Oh, yes, they made tapes, all right. And then posted them on the internet. Fun!

Why You Should See It: You get to see a little-discussed corner of the world and see it dealt with unflinchingly but not exploitively. Ideally, this should be seen on a disturbing double-feature with the NAMBLA documentary Chickenhawk.

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