Greedy Guts Poster

Greedy Guts (2000)

Animation | Drama | Horror
Rayting:   7.3/10 6018 votes
Country: Czech Republic | UK
Language: English

When a childless couple learn that they cannot have children, it causes great distress. To ease his wife's pain, the man finds a piece of root in the backyard and chops it and varnishes it into the shape of a child. However the woman takes the root as her baby and starts to pretend that it is real. When the root takes life they seem to have gained a child; but its appetite is much greater than a ...

Movie Trailer

User Reviews

bloo66 5 December 2001

I had seen other films by Jan Svankmajer, so I had high expectations when I went to see this latest release. I was not disappointed. This is possibly Svankmajers most accessible feature film, as it follows a simple linear narrative on a parallel to a fairytale discovered by one character.

The film follows a couple who are unable to have children. Whilst in the woods one day, The man pulls up a tree stump which faintly resembles a baby. In jest, he gives this to his missus who, in her desperation, believes it is a real child. After a few exasperated protests from the skeptical father, she takes it home with her and the couple goes to great lengths to conceal the young root baby from the prying eyes of the neighbours. The child becomes difficult to hide as its appetite grows and, following the rules of the fairytale, it develops a taste for human flesh.

Despite the grim subject matter, the film remains fairly light hearted. There is some well-appreciated humour from the all-too-accurate characters, and despite the films length, I was not reduced to clock-watching. Svankmajers trademark stop-motion was sparce, but had all the more effect when it was used.

Svankmajer has used the mediums of film and animation to question the possibilities and blurs the line between fable and reality. This would not be credible, were it not for the accurate and witty insights into modern living and the characters it breeds. As it was, I found myself constantly questioning whether, maybe, perhaps, there's the slimmest of chances that the stuff of fairytales is. real.

I urge you to see it. Its f***ing brilliant.

trippycheez 6 December 2004

I knew I had to see this movie when I saw a picture of Little Otik, the misshapen cannibal log baby! I expected it to be an strange romp through fairy tales and stop motion, similar to Svankmeyer's other movies like ALICE and FAUST [which i love]. And it was... only LITTLE OTIK was a little less zany, was more plot-driven, and had fewer stop motion sequences. So I didn't like it was much as FAUST, but it was still pretty awesome.

Other reviews can fill you in on the plot if you really need to hear about it, but basically a childless couple "gives birth" to a piece of wood shaped like a baby. The wood baby comes alive...and really, REALLY likes to eat.

LITTLE OTIK's tone is humorously dreary, in an understated way. I especially appreciated the kitchen table scenes where the mother forces her family to eat nasty soup. I lived in provincial Russia for four months and flashed back to my own times around the table, facing a bowl of mush with bones in it... YUM! Jan Svankmeyer really loves to accentuate slurping and belching noises, too. These are some of the most disgusting meal scenes I have ever seen in a movie.

While this movie has more dialogue than a typical Svankmeyer film, much of the story is still told through pictures rather than words. I found a lot of the pregnancy imagery to be pretty well-done, like the juxtaposition of pictures from the little girl's sex-ed book with footage of the father cutting down the tree which will become Otik. You don't realize the significance of that montage until after Otik is born, then it all makes sense.

There are a few negative sides to the movie. For instance, I wasn't such a big fan of the parts where the girl reads the fairy tale out loud we see pictures of it. A similar device worked in Alice but was kind of needless here, since no one watching the movie would really need the plot spelled out for them, at least not in such detail. I mean, all we need to know is that there's a legend, that the girl is familiar with it, and that the cabbage patch will play a big part in the story. Now, if the folk tale had been shown in stop motion, I would have loved it!!

Also, I got a little weary of the constant close ups, especially of peoples' mouths. And as others have noted, the movie ran about 20 minutes too long. Probably some of the pregnancy footage in the first act could have been edited.

Overall my criticisms are few! I'm glad I saw this movie and would definitely recommend it to other Svankmeyer fans!!

miloc 7 March 2002

I had the good fortune to see this at a special showing in Washington introduced by the director. I just wanted to say that I found it fascinating, very funny, and pretty unnerving at moments. Friends of mine had recommended Svankmajer's animated works, which I have yet to see and hopefully will be able to track down and watch.

I love the visual effects-- they don't have the polished look of digitized Hollywood extravaganzas, but they have a curious, unruly life to them which I found infinitely more interesting. This is a sharp, funny, likeable yet disturbing folktale on film, and I strongly recommend those with a taste for the unusual seeking it out.

Galina_movie_fan 8 June 2006

The film is based on Czech fairy tale "Otesánek" ("Greedy Guts"). It is a story of a loving but childless couple, Karel and Bozena whose biggest dream is to have a baby. To make his wife smile, Karel digs up a tree root and carves it to look like a human baby. So overwhelming is Bozena's wish to become a mother that by its power, the stump transforms into a living creature with enormous appetites. Very soon, the baby formula and carrot soup are not enough to feet the little monster and mysteriously, people begin to disappear.

"Little Otik" is similar to Svankmajer's earlier feature movies "Alice" and "Faust" but it is more plot-driven, has fewer stop-motion animation sequences that would not even begin until 40 or so minutes into the film. Another problem that has been noted by almost every viewer is that the movie is slightly (126 minutes) overlong and it drags a little toward the end. As excellent as Svankmajer is a live-action director, what makes him unique is the groundbreaking combination of both live-action and darkly-humorous, visceral, and surreal animation and I wanted to see more of it. Still, "Little Otik" is highly original, funny, dark, and sinister with first rate acting from live actors and many great scenes and effects. Young Kristina Adamcová is especially good as Alzbetka, Karel's and Bozena's next door neighbor, precocious and very observant girl. I highly recommend "Little Otik" but I believe that the best introductions to Svankmajer are his short stop-motion and clay-motion films. The DVD includes the B/W 12 minutes long early film "Flat" (1969) - this is Svankmajer in his nightmarish best. We are in the claustrophobic apartment with the film protagonist where every object is an enemy and predator. Pay attention to the ending -"Abandon hope all ye who enter here".


bullardjosh 4 May 2004

I had never heard of Jan Svankmajer before seeing this, after recording it at 3o'clock in the morning on channel four, and i certainly wasn't dissapointed. This film, as like the rest of Svankmajer's work is truly original and unique. It's a must see for anyone who's a fan of the surreal. The stop motion animation of the disturbing stump baby is incredible. A number of Svankmajer's work, including this and Faust, are retelling of old czech fairy tales, and the films really capture the atmosphere of the great capital Prague.

Also see faust and alice, also by Svankmajer, both are equally as good if slightly more difficult to comprehend.

Xanthippe 26 January 2002

This movie was very, very disturbing. I can't help but noting that I would never voluntarily see this movie again, and even that I wish I hadn't seen it the first time.

On the other hand, I am forced to admit that it was a very good movie. The fertility imagery was a little TOO heavy-handed for my liking; I felt like shrieking "OKAY, I GET IT ALREADY!!!" about twenty minutes into the movie. But I suppose it all related to the theme, so it was okay.

The Otik-creature is also very disturbing, but the food scenes are probably the worst. I remember the food from my stay in St. Petersburg, and this movie was fairly accurate. Don't see it if you've recently eaten, or plan to eat at any time in the future. Ugh!

I think the movie would be classified as a dark comedy if it were American. As such it was extremely funny; the dialogue is quite witty and the acting is good. But the whole thing was just... disturbing.

Beware of violence; there are a few very bloody, graphic scenes. The nudity is nonsexual, so it's really not a problem even for prudish Americans like me.

esmeorange 10 April 2013

A fairy tale, that name, and my upbringing, always made me imagine not so dramatically the savage that really means to be eaten by an wolf, or a gigantic baby live stump, after all everybody would be leaving happily ever after the Wolf belly was cut by some savior, so the tragic end was not so tragic after all, the spell would always be cast off. One of the matter is, Folk tales although morally intended, could somehow as well ending up have an inconsequential value to whatever force, or miss- action that drove the main characters down that road for whatever that it is was trying to say, therefore loosing their original intention and it's poetical and moral intentions to a happily ever after ending.

Folk tales is a better name for what it is intended, to have our imagination protected like that, or for the children you could say, looses an important aspect of beauty, of actually dealing with the real world in ways that are much more intriguing than the ones that we have been classically presented for the last century and so on, and that it was just blown into my face, how much has infected my own imagination, in realizing I can only imagine the characters being eaten up in a cartoon kind of way, where they are not on the ordeal of the tragic to be experienced. I remember receiving this book when I was kid about this giant, I confess that I don't remember the exact plot of what happened, there are gardens, roses, and he dies, the sadness of that story is not exactly because he dies, but the poetry contained in there, it was something that moved me, that made my whole day ethereal, Things were different that day and tasted different, that experience made my life bigger. Of course, there are measures for what and how it can be shown, I am not here advocating to spook children out of their pajamas and cookies, they are so very sensitive to what it is given to them, but their imagination are much more than princesses and princes fairy tales, and that it is my point about that.

The other point it is to become friends with the monster. "Oh, please don't go—we'll eat you up—we love you so!" Where the Wild Things Are

So the plot of the book it is simple, and if you read the synopses you will know, what the movie is all about. A contemporary folk tale. "When a childless couple learn that they cannot have children, it causes great distress. To ease his wife's pain, the man finds a stump in the backyard and chops it and varnishes it into the shape of a child. However the woman takes the root as her baby and starts to pretend that it is real. When the root takes life they seem to have gained a child; but its appetite is much greater than that of a normal child." (it is funny how whoever writes plots always want it to make very intriguing, so you can be drawn by the riddle of the mystery that it is left upon the lines).

In this case is kind of ludicrous.

The synopses is also the plot of the movie. You could say that all the plots can be done one Thousand times, and what it is actually inside the sandwich that counts. But it is not exactly how many films are made, so many rely so much on the plot, and those mechanisms really give the whole energy for things to happen. But for this movie, things are driven in a different manner, what happens in this flow, inside the story and how it is told that really matter, what it is added inside the sandwich, the journey, the world created, the actual experience of watching it, can only be told in the end, as of while it

kintopf432 13 January 2005

Amusing, disturbing, consistently entertaining film. "Otesánek" is funny, most of all – part ironic fantasy and part low-key farce, even if there are genuine moments of pathos and horror. It's ultimately a satire in the vein of "Little Shop of Horrors" – more abstract, of course, and with babies and baby fever, rather than the American Dream, as the target of its love/hate approach. The movie appears to have been made very cheaply, but Svankmajer exercises tremendous visual skill, and not just with the sad/funny/horrifying manifestation of Otik himself, but also with more mundane images such as an old pervert putting on his glasses or a hand planting a single cabbage seed. And the visuals are witty as well as beautiful – cinematic food has probably looked more disgusting than it does here, but not much more, and it's a perfect fit with this story about appetite and overeating. In the end, the film is undeniably overlong, and worse, begins to repeat itself by the end – it suffers a bit from the "Little Shop" similarities, too. But overall, it's an extremely watchable film, with good performances by the three principals, and a delightful black comic energy. Highly recommended to oddity fans especially. 8 out of 10.

JesNollie 6 July 2004

I liked this film very much. As with most comedy/horror films, the plot is fairly absurd. An infertile couple is desperate for a child. When the husband digs up a tree root vaguely resembling a child the woman loves it so much that it comes to life, and life begins to imitate a frightening fairly tale. It gets pretty slow towards the end, and would have been an even better film had it been about 25 minutes shorter. But, the film is great fun to watch, especially the performance of the woman playing Little Otik's mother, who is just insanely funny in the protection of her "son".

It's certainly not the best of it's kind, but it is a hilarious, twisted nightmare of a tale that fans of the genre will likely enjoy.

zetes 11 March 2002

Perhaps Jan Svankmajer is sick of the medium of stop-motion animation which first made him famous. Perhaps he's trying to move into pure filmmaking. And perhaps I shouldn't criticize him for that. He's actually an excellent live-action director as well, which Little Otik (in Czech "Otesanek," "Greedy Guts," the name of an Eastern European fairy tale from which the script is adapted) demonstrates. But I'm not sure he wants to leave stop-motion animation behind. It seems to me more like he wants to use it more often in the film, but he didn't have the money. If you're interested in Svankmajer's work, start with his short stop-motion films, then move to Alice, his version of Alice in Wonderland, and then move to this film and then Faust.

As for the film itself, it's imperfect. Its biggest problem is that it's overlong. There's really not enough meat in it (well, there's enough meat literally). It can move slowly, especially nearer the beginning. Also, the ending is a bit abrupt. Still, there're a lot of great scenes and set pieces. It can also be very funny. It's certainly the most humorous side of Jan Svankmajer that I've seen. 8/10.

goodellaa 25 February 2002

This movie does seem to drag a little toward the end, but any reasonable person should be hanging on to see what ELSE will happen, because things do happen in this movie. It is full of funny characters and weird situations, so it is quite amusing, in a "Twilite Zone" sort of way. Did you like "Erasurehead", "Dead Alive", and "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"?

This movie illustrates, in fairy-tail fashion, what sort of AWFUL things can happen if you tamper with the natural order of things.

Movie Scene

Similar Movies

Gantz: O
watch movies online
WMO provides links to other sites on the internet and doesn't host any files itself.