Movie Review: Gozu (2003)

By Joan K. Widdifield, Psy.D
Movie Magazine International
'Gozu' the title of Takashi Miike's horror comedy means 'cow head' in Japanese. Miike made his directorial debut with Shinjuku Kuroshakai (1995), and has directed five films since. He is known for his shockingly violent features and is the only Japanese director nominated in Time Magazine as one of the top ten non-Hollywood directors. He says that he made 'Gozu' as a horror film, but in Cannes they laughed.

'Gozu' stars Hideki Sone as Minami and Sho Aikawa as his brother Ozaki. Both are in the Azamawari crew, the Japanese mafia. Minami respects his older who saved his life in the past, but because of the brotherís increasing eccentricities such as claiming that a Chihuahua he sees is a ìyakuza attack dogî the chairman Azmawari secretly orders Minami to kill Ozaki and dispose of him in a dump.

Throughout this film my sentiments ranged from confused to bored to queasy. What I can tell you is that it was a mixture of Wiseguys, Eraser Head, a touch of Alien and the dreams you have when you have a really high fever all gone bad.

Some of the images in the film are interesting, like an old woman whose breasts have an endless supply of flowing milk and a person with a drooling cow head; and, I'll never look at a soup ladle in quite the same way. There are lots of sexual and gory gags that intend to shock and thrill, but they come off as 10 year-old humor. When I did laugh, the laugh was punctuated with a little stomach ache rather than a warm feeling.

In short, 'Gozu' earns the category: a waste of my time.

In San Francisco this is Joan Widdifield for Movie Magazine International.
More Information:
Gozu (2003)
Hong Kong - 2003