Takashi Miike Challenge!

It’s a federal holiday, my children are with their abuelos, and I am sick with a disgusting cold. It’s the perfect storm for a movie day! I’ve had a growing pile of Takashi Miike must-sees, and today’s challenge is to discover whether I can stomach them all in one day: Ichi the Killer, The Happiness of the Katakuris, Visitor Q, and Over Your Dead Body.

If you’ve never had the joy of seeing anything by the distinguished Japanese director, his work is distinctly high-quality but terribly gory and often quite difficult to watch, for example Audition and the “Imprint” episode of Masters of Horror.

Perhaps you remember his cameo in Hostel?

I’ll be documenting my experience with short video journals and written notes. This is my first foray into mixed media, so I’m wingin it. I hope you join me!

1. Ichi the Killer

I read this film was banned in several countries, and that at some film festivals, barf bags were handed out. I also read that a scene in the opening featuring a large puddle of semen featured the real stuff. Oh boy.

Oh noes! Boiling oil to the back! “Just a little torture,” says Kakihara. No big deal. There’s some comic relief from the nauseated reactions of hardened criminals to Kakihara’s methods.

Ichi is an interesting character. He seems innocent and beaten down by life and manipulated by others, but he inflicts such violent deaths. He splits a dude in half! Meanwhile Kakihara is so cocky. And a snazzy dresser!

People are mean. The world is a cruel place.

It’s really a fascinating plotline, between the violence. And also during.

It was magic! The ending is worth every second!

2. The Happiness of the Katakuris

Thank God for coffee

Stop motion! Oh noes!

Not a clue what’s happening here…

I’m a sucker for movement choreographed to music. Maybe it’s because I’m so uncoordinated.

“What’s the deal with these dead bodies?”–actual quote
Reaction shot: I’m loving this!
I apologize for the poor quality of the clip, but you need this musical number in your life.

3. Visitor Q

Uh oh, it’s unrated!

Aaaaand the first line is, “Have you ever done it with your dad?”

Rock attack number one…
“Some things…are truly strange.”–actual quote. Yes indeed, like The Visitor sitting bemusedly under an umbrella while his hostess squirts out gallons of breast milk in sexual ecstasy.
Reaction shot: this is bonkers!

4. Over Your Dead Body

Reportedly the Japanese title translates to Eater Woman. I much prefer that title. Sounds less westernized.

I read that the play the characters are performing is a super popular Japanese folktale; even Sadako in The Ring is an homage to it. You can learn more about it here.

Okay, there’s been a self-inflicted fork stabbing. The buildup of tension is quite impressive, as real life starts to mirror the play and reality and fantasy mix.

Yep yep, just a prop doll crying actual tears
Yikes, this scene is heartbreaking

Okay, we’re pulling faces off and decapitating, now it’s Takashi Miike.

I doubt Miike was actually inspired by Alice Cooper, but here’s the song this movie makes me think of, “Only Women Bleed”, if you’re interested:

Wowza, what a day! I shan’t be doing that again any time soon. Though there will be a Jaume Balagueró challenge in my immediate future…

Published by GhoulieJoe

I wuvs the horror movies and like to write snarky reviews about them. I also included some pretentious as hell microfiction (don't worry, it's at the bottom).

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