Not that I'm complaining, but there sure are a lot of penis documentaries popping up lately. From 2013's Unhung Hero and Dick: The Documentary to last year's The Final Member and The Dickumentary, one could safely assume that a certain subset of modern documentarians are obsessed with the male sexual organ. From their nudge-nudge-wink-wink(ie) titles and implied full montys, these dick docs lure you in with your lurid assumptions but before you know it, you've learned a thing or two about our friend John Thomas.
But just how much is there to know? Apparently a limited amount, for there's a lot of information overlap among these recent examples of this oddly specific new sub-genre of nonfiction films. The latest, writer/director Sofian Khan's The Dickumentary, follows a very familiar path for anyone who has already watched its pecker-centric predecessors. Visit to the the Icelandic Phallological Museum? Check. Take a stroll through a Las Vegas adult entertainment convention to get the (presumably expert) opinions of various porn starlets? Check. Land an interview with Jonah Falcon, the self-annointed "Man with the World's Largest Penis"? Double check (he needs the work).
What makes this Dickumentary stand out in the crowd is its breadth (girth?) in its take on the seminal (ahem) subject. Dozens of talking heads (who do know dick) chime in on all things schlong-ish, from the evolution of the penis to its place of reverence in ancient cultures to such modern, oft-controversial matters as circumcision and enlargement surgeries, not to mention the amazing/horrifying site of the corkscrew penis of the Argentine lake duck in action. Khan also employs what is seemingly a requirement of dong-umentaries: lots and lots of phallic symbols (i.e.: rockets launching, Big Ben, obelisk after obelisk after obelisk...). Cheekiness aside, The Dickumentary is the most focused and well, well-endowed, informatively, of its ilk; aside from a few brief shots of actual unerect penises (sorry boys), this could actually air on the Discovery Channel. Heck, they could run a marathon of all these dickumentaries and they'd have a bigger hit on their hands than "Shark Week". Who wouldn't want to watch "Cock Week"?
Side note: although it is subtitled "A Short History of the Penis", the film is actually a not-that-short 70 minutes long, proving that even a documentary about dicks knows to fib a little about its size.
MD Rating: B
The Dickumentary is now available on DVD and Instant Video:
Review by Kirby Holt, creator and editor of Movie Dearest, The QuOD: The Queer Online Database and the Out Movie Guide.