Nuts! (7/8)

Co-presented by Animation Breakdown

This Sundance documentary paints the bonkers, stranger-than-fiction portrait of “Dr.” John R. Brinkley, the outlandish renegade surgeon who grew to astounding fame for his goat gland transplants in impotent men. That’s right, he claimed grafted goat testicles were a miracle cure for “sexual weakness.” Almost instantly under investigation from a then-fledgling American Medical Association, Brinkley would perform enough life-changing surgeries to build a booming medical empire, complete with his own patented serums, name brand hospitals and even radio stations, enough to make Dr. Phil blush. And that’s just the beginning… The film courts questions of Brinkley’s meteoric career and alleged charlatanism, primarily through animated re-enactments full of uncomfortable, King of the Hill-worthy humor, all guided by a peculiarly upbeat narrator. Equal parts Wilhelm Reich, Howard Stern, and Horatio Alger, his story has all the freewheeling charm of a see-it-to-believe-it Americana folklore, along with hilariously savage insights into the births of mass marketing and modern medicine. It’s all pretty nuts.

Dir. Penny Lane, 2016, DCP, 79 min.

Watch the trailer!