Japanese films can sometimes be among the most daring and experimental creations out there. After watching Visitor Q, I couldn't help but think of this quote from South Park: "Dude, this is pretty ****ed up."

Visitor Q seems to begin as a commentary on the media, as Kiyoshi (Kenichi Endo) seems more interested in filming prostitute Miko (Fujiko) than sleeping with her. Things then shift to his family, where teenage son Takuya (Jun Muto) is bullied by other boys and takes it out on his mother Keiko (Shungiku Uchida) by whipping her. Keiko, her back covered in scars, prostitutes herself to get money for drugs. And Kiyoshi is hoping to start his television career up again by filming his son getting bullied.

So how could things get weirder? With the entrance of the visitor (Kazushi Watanabe), a cool handsome man who bashes Kiyoshi in the head with a rock -- twice -- so Kiyoshi brings him home. Then come firework attacks, killings, fetishes (one is indulged quite graphically and excessively), twisted humor, and corpse disposal.

While director Takashi Miike's Ichi the Killer was deliriously excessive, his work in Visitor Q seems all over the place. The film seems to be everything from family satire to dark humor to the weak preying on the weaker -- but none of it is developed. Even the mysterious visitor is hardly a catalyst: While things change after he arrives, Kiyoshi and his family were quite messed up beforehand as well. The acting is over the top, neither the humor nor horror are sustained long enough, and the end result is discomfort without greater meaning. Visitor Q is just sick excess.

Overall grade: F
Reviewed by James Lynch

No comments: