If the first part of Lars Von Trier’s Riget fulfills your need for entertaining insanity, then the conclusion will really kick you in the gut. From a doctor who implants a cancerous liver into himself in the name of science, to a Danish-hating Swede who travels all the way to Haiti out of spite, the characters and storylines in this epic tale are to be enjoyed, and not questioned.
These episodes (#’s 5-8) crank up the humor factor a few more notches higher than the first batch, though not everyone is going to find this material funny. The child of Woman and Devil takes the Rosemary’s Baby concept to a ludicrous place by popping out as a full grown man’s head- though his body is a disgusting, mucous-filled mess that spends the four episodes in accelerated growth. His Pee Wee Herman-like performance is twisted genius, stretching mommy’s maternal instincts to dark regions never before imagined.
Von Trier has fun mixing horror tropes such as Satanic Rituals and phantasms with his penchant for bringing out the worst in people, and he does it with one of the most colorful casts of characters you could ever hope to find in TV Land: the bumbling boss, the dorky do-gooder, a sadistic psychiatrist who hangs out in the basement, a Masonic-like cult of surgeons, the superstitious mother who berates her dutiful oaf of a son… cutting back and forth between their crazy stories is half the fun.
Visually, Von Trier’s proto-dogme style, full of jump cuts that make no excuses for themselves, adds to the feeling of anarchy that pervades every second of this show. Who’s in charge here? Not the suits, not the doctors, and not even the spirits who haunt them. Apparently a third and final series is in the works, so what better way to get ready than to take a dip into this cesspool of comic horror?
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