When I said I wanted to hear what an “animal lover” thought of The Shape of Water, this isn’t really what I had in mind.

For reasons I will not attempt to comprehend, the Huffington Post has interviewed one Malcolm Brenner, a self-described “zoophile” and man who has had intercourse with a dolphin. (He was even the subject of the accurately titled documentary Dolphin Lover.) The whole notion of a human woman having sex with a fish dude has made The Shape of Water a bit scandalous and even controversial in some circles. (Can a fish dude consent?) So what does a man who has had actual congress with an actual animal think of the film?

Well, for one thing he thought it was an “unabashedly romantic fantasy.” But he had some quibbles. Asked what he thought of Elisa (Sally Hawkins) making love to her creature from the Black Lagoon (Doug Jones) he replied:

Given the course of the development of their relationship, it seems sort of natural. Although I must say, I find a dolphin a lot more sexy than that thing was. Then again, I’m not Elisa. Maybe you have to take it where you can get it.

Maybe you have to, or maybe you don’t have to. I vote don’t have to.

The whole interview is really quite a thing. You can read it all for yourself. But I would like to point your attention to one other passage, when Mr. Brenner talks about how Shape of Water’s Best Picture win is “astonishing,” but that if the film had been “less fantastical” then the audience would not have accepted it:

That whole laboratory that the women work in is a fantastic fantasy. Most marine research labs look nothing like that. I’m sure a lot of the good liberals who criticized me for making love with a dolphin loved this film because the hero was a featherless biped. If ‘the asset’ had been a dolphin, it wouldn’t have been anywhere near as popular.

I cannot imagine why that would have been less popular. Have a great weekend everyone!

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