The Kingdom (1994) TV Mini-Series
The Kingdom is the most technologically advanced hospital in Denmark, a gleaming bastion of medical science... (imdb)
Cast and Information
Franchise: The Kingdom
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Must admit I've not yet seen all of this, but it's so far close to perfection. Lars von Trier is the David Lynch of Denmark. It's funny and surprisingly believable while being incredibly creepy. The characters are all interesting and different, and so are the subplots.
Its More Absurd As Season 1, Not So Creepy Anymore. That Is Not A Bad Thing. The Ending Is More Open As S1 And Half The Main Cast Died Before They Could Start Season 3 Sad Sad. Still Very Nice.
Produced for Danish TV, this rates as a video great, a four-episode hospital-set ghost-story-cum-dark-medical-satire. It ranks with the best of David Lynch's work, combining horror -- Episode 4 is titled "The Living Dead" and features cannibalistic zombie nightmare sequences right out of Romero -- gallows humor (a reappearing severed head supplies one typical running riff), brain-surgery close-ups, the grottiest birth scene ever seen on-screen, voodoo, and a truly scary take on medicine
Half horror half folk comedy, Trier's Kingdom hospital is inhabited with magnificantly peculiar creatures, living as well as dead, all in pursuit of bizarre goals, all projects that will somehow go devlishly awry. Easily the best Danish tv-series since "Matador", a statement that would equally please and disgust Lars Trier.
After every episode, I felt like I could finally establish how I felt about it, but I never could. I would find myself laughing at how cheesy it was, while being genuinely creeped out. Some of the graphics and effects are cringe-worthy, and yet the whole is beautifully shot. I guess it's cliche to say so, but it really is the only series I've seen like Twin Peaks. I was entirely disoriented, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
LvT steps out at the end-- Hitchcock's face in profile, looming over his audience; there's no question of who's the true auteur of this mini-series, and every episode emphatically testifies to his sense of playfulness and artifice. Pretty much every single actor is brilliant, writing is hilarious, editing and sound design are very tasteful. [side note: in the commentary, LvT says he didn't wear pants for his closing comments after the last episode. ok, Lars...].
Very unfortunate that the third season was not able to be made. Score: 86 for season 1; 76 for season 2.
Maybe my expectations were too high, but I was a little disappointed. I found the setting and most of the characters really interesting, but the incongruous tone and odd pacing made for stretches, especially in the middle two episodes where I just didn't care. Things came together a bit in the last episode but I much preferred the character interactions and the eerie comedy than the more in your face supernatural horror that increasingly takes center stage.
Great hospital drama/supernatural comedy that meanders at a perfect pace, investing our interest in every single character in the hospital. Twin Peaks fans should make sure they catch this.
I kinda regret watching this, now that I read that the series was never finished, and never will be. Huge disappointment, because by the end of episode 5, I was hooked.
Equal parts horror, comedy, and cheese and I loved every minute. The final ten minutes are a real doozy.
The second series, while still nominally a horror, also approximately doubles the surrealism & quadruples the humour. The comparisons with Twin Peaks are really unavoidable here. I don\'t know if this level of zaniness could have been sustained for a third season without becoming too much, but this is just the right amount. Of course, it\'s hard to really love a series that ends in mid-story (and will most likely never be completed), but it\'s still a good watch.
|Average Percentile 73.64% from 845 Ratings|