Takashi Miike is probably not a household name. If you like your house to be a comfortable place, you’ll be gald that’s the case. But for Asian movie geeks, horror worshipers, Tarantino junkies, and anyone who likes their entertainment doused in blood and madness, Miike is a must-know. His filmography is pages long and I don’t think any one list I’ve seen even covers it all. With everything from a straight-to-video sex perversions reality show (Visitor Q) to a romantic torture film (Audition) to an 80s horror/musical (The Happiness of the Katakuris), Miike is a film veteran like other people are Vietnam veterans.
He’s the perfect choice for a festival that takes turns reveling in comic disgust, senseless killing, and the outright fucked-up. His two movies playing this week are Detective Story and Crows: Episode 0. I haven’t seen Crows: Episode 0 yet but it’s on my to-do list tonight, right after “fold the laundry” and right before “take enough Tylenol PM to forget what I just saw and pass out”. (So excited!!!).
Detective Story is something else. It follows Raita, a rogue detective who dresses like Robert Rodriguez and his neighbor, some kind of software engineer/corporate hacker who has the same name. Some people start showing up dead with organs removed from their bodies and both Raitas try to find the killer. The plot is pretty straight up, but the style is crooked as all hell. It goes from existential detective yarn to cop movie to serial killer manhunt to psychological treatise to slasher yuckfest over about an hour and a half.
The shifts in tone by themselves keep it entertaining, and there are more than enough disgustingly interesting themes to focus on. It’s not Miike’s best but it’s not trying to be. He allegedly directed 15 works in 2001 and 2002 alone, so it’s safe to say he’s more into making a Magnum P.I. than a magnum opus. Detective Story is smart, wacky, violent, fun. Everything Another Hole in the Head is about.
Plays tonight at 9:30PM, Sunday at 9:30 PM, and Wednesday June 17 at 5:00PM. Info.