"Childhood Tragedy Overshadowed by Animalistic Adulthood"
What You Need To Know:
BULLHEAD is a dark, disturbing movie filled with many obscenities, graphic violence, and haunting imagery. The movie has a slow, methodical pace that adds to the story’s unsettling nature. There is a redemptive moment of forgiveness near the end, but, otherwise, the movie has a very strong pagan worldview overall. In addition to the graphic, disturbing violence, BULLHEAD contains disturbing lewd content, including lewd content with young children. The movie is depressing, unsettling and not at all morally uplifting. Despite BULLHEAD being an Oscar contender for Best Foreign Language Film, most moviegoers, especially media-wise ones, will want to seek out more worthwhile entertainment.
(PaPaPa, B, C, HoHo, PC, LLL, VVV, SS, NN, AA, DD, MM) Very strong mixed pagan worldview with very little redeemable content except estranged friends find mild forgiveness after 20 years, one brief image of crucifix hanging on the wall as little boy imagines Jesus bleeding, major character is homosexual and tries to seduce another man, and one comment about Right-Wing Fascists; 75 obscenities, no profanities; very strong violence includes story of a police officer who is assassinated, fighting, punching, man head butts someone into unconsciousness, man pummels another man into a coma, man chokes invalid, cow calf birth depicted, man beats up police and is shot, and in one very graphic flashback a little boy is pinned down by a bully who pulls the boy’s pants down and beats his testicles with a rock until he is castrated, that same man is seen 20 years older injecting himself with growth hormones, testosterone and steroids; sexual content includes it’s implied that man visits prostitute in red light district, young teenage boy uses graphic dialogue to other young boys trying to “sell” his little sister for sex, teenage boy makes graphic sexual gesturing at other boys, teenage boy hands out pornographic magazines to his friends and is caught by other boys with his hand in his pants abusing himself, homosexual man makes advances toward other men, and depicted fornication briefly shown on a TV as pornographic movie plays in the background; fully frontal female nudity briefly seen in pornographic video, rear male nudity as man gives himself steroid injections, upper male nudity, women in lingerie and female cleavage; strong alcohol use including extreme drunkenness depicted; strong steroid use depicted, man takes hormones and testosterone because he was castrated by a bully as a little boy, but he eventually overdoses on steroids and in a rage kills people, cows are also implied to receive hormone injections to make them grown stronger, and cigarette use depicted throughout movie; and, strong miscellaneous immorality includes lying, thievery, bullying, mafia deals underhandedly with cattle farmers, conspiracy, police officer is assassinated, man is an informant for the police, and no redeemable characters or content.
BULLHEAD is a disturbing drama from Belgium that tells the story of Jacky, a cattle farmer who was maimed by a bully 20 years earlier when he was just a child. Now, Jacky must fight his inner rage, which is enhanced by the hormone injections he’s forced to take, while being caught in the crosshairs of a police investigation trying to link Jacky’s family cattle business with an infamous mafia meat trader suspected of murdering a police officer.
As a young boy, Jacky grew up helping his father raise cattle. Jacky and his brother watched as their father, driven by competition from other cattle farmers, began using steroids and growth hormones to bulk up the cows to sell their meat at higher prices. Little did Jacky know, however, he would soon be using similar growth hormones, especially testosterone injections, himself after he was maimed by a bully and castrated as a little boy.
Now, 20 years later, Jacky deals with the pain of having to give himself testosterone injections on a daily basis, but he doesn’t stop there. He also gives himself dangerous steroid pills and human growth injections, which leaves him dealing with an inner rage that’s barely controlled. When an old friend – his estranged friend Diederik who left him for dead after he was maimed as a child – comes back into his life, Jacky’s rage comes to the surface. At the same time, Jacky’s father and brother begin dealing with a meat trader considered part of the “underground hormone mafia,” but Jacky wants nothing to do with this man. Little does the family know that Diederik is actually a police informant and that they are now the subjects of an investigation because the meat trader with whom they are dealing is suspected of assassinating a local policeman.
As Jacky’s world spins out of control, so do his emotions and hormones. He finds himself feeling like a piece of cattle, being herded toward the slaughter. However, filled with ‘roid rage, Jacky decides to fight back and take vengeance for his childhood tragedy on anyone who gets in his way.
BULLHEAD is a dark and disturbing movie filled with many obscenities, graphic violence, and haunting imagery. The movie has a slow, methodical pace that adds to the story’s unsettling nature. Matthias Schoenaerts, who portrays Jacky, is perfectly cast in a dangerous, violent role. His portrayal, however, pales in comparison to the disheartening movie that leaves viewers feeling unnerved.
The movie has a very strong slightly mixed pagan worldview, a homosexual character, and only a brief redemptive moment of two friends finding a mild level of forgiveness after being estranged for 20 years. It also contains strong foul language and graphic and even obscene violence as well as disturbing sexual content, including sexual content with young children. The movie is depressing, unsettling and not morally uplifting at all. Despite BULLHEAD being an Oscar contender for Best Foreign Language Film, most moviegoers, especially media-wise ones, will want to seek out more worthwhile entertainment.