This gory and entirely visual film tells the surreal tale of the death and rebirth of gods.

Release Year: 1990

Rating: 6.1/10 (3,212 voted)

E. Elias Merhige

Stars: Brian Salzberg, Donna Dempsey, Stephen Charles Barry

God disembowels himself with a straight razor. The spirit-like Mother Earth emerges, venturing into a bleak, barren landscape. Twitching and cowering, the Son Of Earth is set upon by faceless cannibals.


Brian Salzberg

God Killing Himself

Donna Dempsey

Mother Earth

Stephen Charles Barry

Son Of Earth – Flesh On Bone

James Gandia

Daniel Harkins

Michael Phillips

Erik Slavin

Arthur Streeter

Adolfo Vargas

Garfield White


Official Website:
World Artists |

Release Date: 5 June 1991

Filming Locations: New York, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $33,000


Technical Specs


Did You Know?


Approximately eight to ten hours of optical work – re-photographing, visual treatments, and filtering – was required to produce one minute of film. The total postproduction period for the 78-minute movie was eight months.

User Review

This is not entertainment. This is disentertainment.

Rating: 8/10

I saw 'Begotten' last night, and I'm of two minds on the

On one hand, I appreciate it for being the total invert of a Michael Bay
film. No dialogue, extremely stylized grainy B&W photography, some of the
most genuinely horrific imagery ever set to film, and a very compelling use
of sound (which nobody else seems to have really picked up on yet). It's a
reflection on a theme, and it dares go where most filmmakers do not not only
in terms of images, but of production and concept. It's a movie that most
people don't understand, and if you read through these comments you'll find
a lot of people whose lack of ability to figure this film out results in
them shrieking about 'pretentiousness' with the fervor of a gibbon rattling
the bars of its cage at feeding time. It genuinely shocked and disturbed me,
and the last time a film managed to do that was a while ago.

On the other, this is a thirty-minute short that sprawls out to over an hour
and a half. I understand that there might be artistic merit in using
repetition and monolithic pacing as a bludgeon, but in this case it just
doesn't help everything hang together. Imagine being approached by a ragged
man on the street who grabys you by the shoulders and says something that
completely confounds the core of your being… but then, instead of leaving
your shattered and gibbering in his wake, he just keeps talking and talking
and talking. By the end of the movie, I found myself glancing at my watch
now and again.

This is not entertainment, people. This is disentertainment. This is how you
deprogram people who just watched "Glitter." If you watch movies to be
entertained, this will frustrate, confound, and possibly anger you. You
don't approach 'Begotten' like a chocolate cake you want to eat because it
tastes good. You approach it like something on the menu you have never heard
of before, something you see furtive glances of through the kitchen door,
something that's dark and glistens and twitches on its platter; something
you order not because it will taste good, but because you just have to know
what it's like.