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Let’s Listen to Lars von Trier’s New DVD Commentary on the Grossest Parts of Antichrist

Just when our nation is most in need of gruesome talking foxes, vaginal disfigurement, and bloody ejaculation, here comes the Criterion Collection's special edition of Lars von Trier's Antichrist, in stores today on DVD and Blu-Ray! (To recap: child dies while parents engage in graphic, slow-motion sex; grief-stricken mom and dad head to the scariest woods on earth to do awful, awful things to each other.) In the hours of extras — an anxiety-riddled Von Trier commentary, interviews with co-stars Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe, many other featurettes — there is plenty of talk about Solaris, Strindberg, falling acorns, sonic texture ... blah, blah, blah. That's all well and good, but what about all the gross stuff? We skipped right to the film's most notorious bits and noted what the provocateur himself had to say about them in his commentary. Here they are, in sequential order:

The self-disemboweling fox who rasps, "Chaos … reigns"
Von Trier says he apparently encountered the fox — whose brief onscreen appearance triggered a "minor exodus” at one of the original screenings — during a Shamanic journey. "It's kind of very scary just before it talks, then it normally kind of provokes some laughing in the cinema," he said. "Of course you could have kept the scary part longer if you had taken it out. But my fox had to say the line.” (The catchphrase moment may not be good for your appetite, but it's great for a T-shirt!)

Gainsbourg's masturbation among the creepy tree roots
Von Trier is especially proud of Gainsbourg’s lurid and ferocious self-stimulation sequence and goes out of his way to point it out. “We have to enjoy this masturbation scene, because I think it might be in film history the best masturbation I’ve seen. Fantastic.”

Dafoe's disgraced penis
Arguably the film's most vile sequence shows Gainsbourg bashing Dafoe's erect penis with a log, then manipulating it until blood squirts out. Says Von Trier: “This is another kind of little humoristic thing that I liked very much. She actually makes a double take, when she looks at it — that was very important for me.” He concedes that it’s pretty disturbing, but also that he "had a good time.”

Dafoe's punctured leg
“It was quite clear for me that it had to be graphic,” said Von Trier about Gainsbourg screwing a grinding stone into Dafoe’s leg. “Very graphic. I couldn’t really find a reason for it not being graphic, even though a lot of people might have, you know, liked it better if it was not so graphic.” Turns out he only heard the term “torture porn” after he made the film: “In Cannes. Somebody told me.”

Gainsbourg's clitorectomy
Gainsbourg grabs a pair of shears and goes after her clitoris, an image that fills the entire frame and comes complete with a definitive "snip." Von Trier claims he can especially relate to the female here, whereas the man is, “like maybe all the men in my films, too stupid.” If you're one of the five people who actually kept their eyes open during this scene, good for you. The rest of us can seek refuge in the featurette, where the cheerful Danish "special props" team shows us how they built the ready-to-mutilate vulvas. It’s just fake blood and silicone, so keep that in mind for your next Halloween haunted house.

Photo: IFC Films