The Kingdom: Series Two

see story lines resumed “¦ and then new ones left unthreaded.

Although its cult following knows such details, “The Kingdom” refers to a hospital whose floors and walls are privy to strange, supernatural goings-on, including ghost, demons and maniacally mad physicians. Sound familiar? Americans may know it better as ABC’s 2004 one-season-wonder, “Kingdom Hospital,” adapted by Stephen King, who hewed closely to von Trier’s tales, right down to the Down’s syndrome-afflicted workers in the basement.

However bizarre King’s version was, it doesn’t hold a match in the disturbing department to von Trier’s version, made all the more inaccessible to mass audiences via a sepia-toned look and a constantly jittery camera (in stark contrast to King’s sleek, polished affair). Heck, most viewers won’t be able to get past an image which recaps an earlier episode, showing a grown man’s screaming head being birthed through a vaginal canal.

To each his own, right? Those used to von Trier’s trickery and tampering with film methods will find “The Kingdom” easier to stomach, and welcome this DVD collection of the show’s final four installments.

“”Rod Lott


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