Godsmack drummer Shannon Larkin is back with yet another awesome horror movie review. This time, he’s taking a look at BD SelectsCold Fish, a movie that was too controversial for AMC, so we had to go art house for it’s release! Check out the cities and showtimes HERE.
Based on a true story, this film comes to us from Japan with sub-titles. We are introduced to the Shamoto family of three: Shamoto the dad (acted superbly by Mitsuru Fukikoshi), his wife Taeko, and their daughter Mitsuko. They operate and live above a small tropical fish store. We see right away that Mitsuko is out of their control, and learn that her real mother died years ago, and was quickly replaced by stepmother Taeko, breeding bad feelings and relations between the teenager and the step mom.
In a strange twist of fate, Mitsuko is caught shoplifting in a store and detained until her parents arrive and have the day saved by a charming and funny man (Denden) named Mr.Murata, who happened to know the owner of the store and convinces the storeowner not to press charges and let Mitsuko go without involving the authorities. The kicker here is that Mr.Murata also owns a tropical fish store (albeit a much bigger and successful one), and quickly offers Mitsuko a job alongside a bunch of other hot young girls, promising to straighten her out. This part of the script seemed ominous at first, with some strange scenes in the store that perhaps were meant to be like a red herring, because nothing really comes from that angle. But man, all kinds of crazy things start to happen and the script (written by director Shion Sono with Yoshiki Takahashi) takes off at an unbelievable pace for the rest of the film. And let me say this is a very long film, running well over two hours. Not once did I think of fast forwarding. I was totally engrossed by the story, characters, and direction, which made the film fly by and left me wanting more!
I went into this one not knowing what it was about, and wish you all could too for the shock factor, but this is a review, and so to finish with the storyline, we learn that the congenial Mr. Murata is in fact a serial killer with 58 kills under his belt (and counting!). He quickly makes the unsuspecting and very timid Shamoto an accomplice to murder, using his daughter as a willing hostage, and dominating his wife (Taeko, played by the stunning Magumi Kazurazaka ) in a brutal scene that I won’t spoil here.
Soon enough and as the body count starts to rise, the cops and the Yakuza are both onto Mr. Murata’s scent, but have absolutely no physical proof, as he is a master of making people turn “invisible”. As the violence spins out of control and Shamoto gets fully caught in the murderous web (there are other mind blowing sub-plots dealing with Murata’s wife and lawyer and driver – all crazy themselves) things get deep and ugly, but ultimately righteous by the insane ending.
This is one of those movies that I find myself wondering if I should file it under “horror”, or with my other more extreme titles (Tarantino, Jadorowski, Miike, etc), as this film has lots of very black humor and lots of sex, nudity, and drama. In the end, since there is gore and LOTS of blood, coupled with the fact that it is a serial killer flick with a frightening aspect that hits home like a brick, I decided that yes, this will live nicely on my horror collection shelves beside other serial killer flicks about Bundy, Gacy, Hannibal, Katiebird, Gein etc…
Coldfish – 4 out of 5 stars. This is one for the collection, and even at its long running time will receive more viewings in the future. A gem!