'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
'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
In short, 'Gozu' earns the category: a waste of my time.
In San Francisco this is Joan Widdifield for Movie Magazine International.
© 2004 - Joan K. Widdifield, Psy.D - Air Date: 9/15/04
Hong Kong - 2003