a list that is trying to contain every horror film made that is not lost and is found on the…
He'll make you pick up the pieces
Shamoto runs a small tropical fish shop. When his daughter Mitsuko is caught shoplifting at a grocery store a man named Murata steps in to settle things between the girl and the store manager. Murata also runs a tropical fish shop and he and Shamoto soon become friendly. However Murata hides many dark secrets behind his friendly face.
Welp, this is it. I've found it. Sono's best work. I know it's too early to say, given that I'm only knee deep into his crazy filmography. But as of now, I can't possibly imagine anything that can top this. If Sono were to make something even funnier, darker, or generally greater than Cold Fish, my puny mind would reject all reality and self-destruct.
Again, Sono mixed all kinds of genres together as if he's making a cinematic fruit punch. To some it may be considered tedious, to me I see it as his invaluable trademark. The mood shifts constantly and it's almost impossible to predict what will happen in the next scene. From the first murder down the daughter's…
Sion Sono converts shock into appreciation, extracting beauty out of moral corruption, inhuman behaviour. From unmotivated murder to domestic abuse, rape committed by both genders, Cold Fish is a filthy, bloody-hand-delivered (and can you believe it, somehow funny!) package that includes anything that is depraved, even barbaric.
The director said he wanted to depict the sense of hopelessness in his film, which he felt is lacking in Japanese cinema, and, after witnessing the mercilessly accelerated plot escalation into utter despair for the second time, I believe it is safe to say he did it without flaw --especially in the scene where after a series of provocation, Syamoto finally broke down and cry -- made possible by Mitsuru Fukikoshi's iconic zombie…
Cold Fish does get 'Harder, Better, Faster' the second time around.
I can't. How the hell do you describe Straw Dogs made in Japan, twice?
What if, in a parallel universe, Sono directed 'Age of Ultron'?
Hulk would first rape Thor, then bite off Loki's head while Cap would be stuck in the cryo-capsule; conscious and subjected to torture by Pepper Potts and The Black Widow, while they have sex on the cryo-chamber glass. Iron Man would be diagnosed with BPD and become addicted to antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotics; as a result become a shadow of himself. Hawkeye would gouge out Nick Fury's good eye before stabbing himself, with an arrow. He would leave a highly cryptic note…
Insane. Absolutely insane. That's probably the best way to describe this movie; and not the "super-fun-action-ride" type of insane, either. Cold Fish is legitimately off its rocker, nuts, crazy, screwy, cuckoo, mad, demented, unhinged, etc.
And I liked it.
Nobuyuki Shamoto owns a tropical fish store. His marriage to his second wife, Taeko, is rocky because his daughter, Mitsuko, disapproves of it. After being caught attempting to shoplift, a store manager scolds Mitsuko extensively, but another man intervenes. Murata, an older man who also owns a (much larger) tropical fish store, convinces the manager to not punish her, and he begins a friendly relationship with the Shamoto family. Until his true, batshit crazy self comes out, of course.
Japanese horror is one of the best horror sources because of several reasons. First, psychologically, it plays with audiovisual cognitive dissonance, that is, give the audience a seemingly defenseless stimuli and create an environment of ease, for then betraying their feelings with the exact opposite of the film spectrum. This has an advantage: Japanese cinema has never cared about the international censorship, so the commercial standards to which audiences have gotten used to are challenged once more. Cold Fish is cognitive dissonance from beginning to end, not only the entire film (the first introductory 21 minutes until finally the film's title is displayed, against the 100 following minutes, until the orgiastically insane madness shown in the last 30), but also…
If things go wrong, we'll just make them invisible.
144 minutes of batshit crazy. The last film directed by Sion Sono that I saw was Why Don't You Play in Hell?, an ultra violent film about a Yakuza boss that decides to produce a film starring himself, his daughter and his gang in the middle of a mob war using real life gunfights and murder in the film. THAT is a kids movie compared to this.
This one stars Mitsuru Fukikoshi as Nobuyuki Syamoto, a tropical fish salesman who lives a sheepish existence at the mercy of his teenage daughter and young second wife. He seems to let his daughter run roughshod over everyone because of guilt over…
Of the four Sion Sono movies that I've seen, Cold Fish failed to blow my mind like Suicide Club and Love Exposure, and is even lacking the wild energy of Why Don't You Play in Hell? Although well-made, and with just enough oddball Sono-flavor to almost justify its extreme running time, the premise of Cold Fish is a fairly tired idea: an uptight sad-sack who disappoints his wife and daughter is taken under the wing of a boisterous psychopath, leading to an explosively violent change in personality. Sono does what he can with this ho-hum narrative, but it's not up to his usual original standard.
incredible that in the year 2010 Sion Sono proved that there is no god. will I ever feel clean again???
Sion Sono brings his unique sensibilities and oddball sense of humor to this story about a fish store owner who gets dragged into a world of violence and murder. It gets a bit long (a common Sono problem) and suffers from some tonal issues (and like two too myrape scenes) but if you like Michael Bay's Pain and Gain, you might find some stuff to enjoy here.
"Living your life hurts." - Nobuyuki Syamoto
The patriarch and owner of a family-run fish store finds his life turned upside-down after an encounter with a competitor. The first act slyly lures the viewer into an uneasy situation, but the claim to be "based on a true story" and the timestamps throughout seem to get in the film's own way. Character motivations grow increasingly suspect while an undercurrent of sleaze sets in. Thankfully, COLD FISH finally stumbles upon some meaning during its final scenes of depravity. You'll probably want to take a shower after this one.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I've been watching a lot of upsetting films lately -- misery loves company, I guess. But here Sono's punched so hard that I feel bruised.
Where Himizu utilises its emotional brutality for something profound and humanistic, Cold Fish leaves all that by the wayside, with pure blood and gore in its place. Both actually share a thematic basis: the psychological toll of child abuse and parental failure. But where Himizu's resolution is intensely cathartic, here there's no light, no relief, just deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole. It's not an immoral film, but it's so bleak, so nasty that it only furthers the miserablism through the immorality it portrays; instead of feeling profound, it feels profoundly manipulative.
a great movie almost ruined by it's last 30 minutes, but incredibly saved by the ending
One of my favorite Sono Shion films. Fantastic Dialogue and great acting. Love this film.
"In a career that depicts mass suicides, incest, castration and a score of other fun things, Cold Fish stands out as maybe Sono’s most difficult film. A slow-boil of escalating hatred, the film builds tension on the pulsing contempt growing inside of Syamoto. As his wife has sex with The General, she begs him to hit her, thanking him with every slap. When she returns to Syamoto, he himself thanks The General for taking care of his wife, unaware but somehow still a participant in the adultery. As much as the wife is attracted to The General’s power and fearlessness, she gets off on the degradation of her husband. She, just like her daughter, wants to see him suffer for not being strong and masculine enough. Their constant prodding is not just a punishment for his insufficiencies but a dare: we will reduce you to nothing unless you fight back."
Read my full review at Vague Visages: vaguevisages.com/2016/07/21/of-love-and-other-demons-cold-fish-sion-sono-2010/
Sono is consistently ever so slightly pushing my buttons as to how I don't like finding patterns in my ratings. But then I suppose that when you're eight films into a director's work and have given seven of them 4.5+ you're sorta in something of A Jam as it is. And, even then, of all the jams to be in that is certainly a preferable one. Not one of my favorites of his necessarily, I think perhaps kept outside that simply for it having a section in the middle where it's not especially developing and is instead just somewhat going over the same material it already had, both conceptually and almost plot-wise if anything (the section of the movie where…
Step One: Go to www.random.org.
Step Two: Pick a Number.
Step Three: GET WEIRD!*
*OK, this list kinda started out…