ASIAN FILM - Review
16:00 - 30th November 2013, by David West

Cold Fish

Sion Sono's follow-up to Love Exposure is a gory tale of greed, murder and deviant sex. Shamoto and Murata have a lot in common - they both own tropical fish shops and have young, pretty wives, but where Shamoto's business is struggling, Murata drives a sports car and has money to burn. There is a dark reason behind Murata's success story - he steals from investors and kills them. Murata thinks he has found the perfect lackey and accomplice in the meek and brow-beaten Shamoto, but everyone has a breaking point. Cold Fish was inspired by the real case of the Saitama Dog Lovers Serial Murders case in Japan, but is laden with the themes so beloved of Sono. There are dysfunctional families and religious icons, and inevitably a lot of sexual perversion. This last is where the film becomes genuinely uncomfortable, as all the female characters are subject to disturbing levels of violence, much of it explicitly sexual in nature. These scenes are often totally gratuitous to the murder plot and suggest Sono has some issues he needs to work out off-screen. Mitsuri Fukikoshi is rather flat as Shamoto, particularly when he shares the screen with Denden, who eats up the screen as the unhinged but charismatic Murata. The ending is resolutely nihilistic and gore-hounds should love the film's penchant for dismemberment. If you are looking for the ultimate anti-date movie, this is the jackpot.

Gruesome, wilfully offensive, Cold Fish wants to leave a bad taste in your mouth... and succeeds.
SCORE: 3/5
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