Gozu (2003) (DVD Review)
Directed By: Takashi Miike
Starring: Yûta Sone, Shô Aikawa, Kimika Yoshino
Rated: UR/Region: O/Widescreen/Number of disc: 1
Available From Cinema Epoch
What starts out as a gangster film spirals rapidly out of control when a young yakuza is ordered to assassinate his own superior, who also happens to be his closest friend. When his target disappears before he can do the job, he sets out for a search that leads him into a mysterious town filled with lowlifes, oddballs, and a cow-headed demon.
As big of a fan of Takashi Miike as I am, I’ve noticed we seem to have two versions of Takashi Miike the director. We have the director that can make a solid and crisp film just as good as anyone else in the world can. Then we have the director that makes some of the wildest, weirdest, and still most interesting films I’ve ever seen. Gozu is right up there on the list of films he’s made that would fit the later. Here we follow a couple brothers who are in the Yakuza. One is going crazy and is very paranoid. He thinks animals, cars, and everything else is out to get him. The other brother is being told to get rid of him. Something happens along the way and the crazy one comes up missing causing a long and weird quest to find out just what the heck is going on. That, of course, opens up a very strange can of worms that will often have the viewer asking what the heck is going on. This in a lot of ways is my kind of movie. It is over the top, but to say that would be an understatement. Heck, this one is over the freakin’ moon. You never know what will come next and that whole part of the film is cemented when the brother is seen again but totally not in the way we’d have expected. I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to spoil this one, but trust me when I say you have got to see this movie if you love weird movies.
Now, that isn’t the only weird thing you see in this movie that is worth noteing but I can’t say what it is because I don’t want to spoil it. The finale for this one is one of the weirdest and strangest things I’ve ever seen. Some parts of the onslaught of what we see might even require a barf bag for some. I’ve seen Takashi Miike go over the top with such films as Ichi the Killer, but this one offers up a whole list of things that could be taken as being in the very same ballpark in a lot of ways as that movie. Is it as good? No, but it doesn’t miss the mark by much. You should also keep in mind that Ichi is one of the few films I give a perfect score to. This one doesn’t miss that mark by much as the director’s cut we get here is 2 hours of madness. It also comes with a whole disc of extras to keep you busy after you watch it. This is a great disc all in all and I know it has been out for a while but it is still worth watching until we get a Blu-ray of this classic some day.
– Unrated Director’s Cut Version
– Nearly Two Hours of Behind the Scenes Footage
– Essay by Films Critic Bill Gibron
– Takashi Miike interview with Guillermo Del Toro and Eli Roth
– Production Featurette
– Audio Commentary with Film Critics Andy Klein and Wade Majors