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aka GOKUDO KYOFU DAI-GEKIJO: GOZU
USA: Pathfinder Pictures
UK: Tartan Films
Cast: Hideki Sone, Sho Aikawa, Kimika Yoshino, Shohei Hino, Keiko Tomita, Harumi Sone, Renji Ishibashi,
Ken'ichi EndO, Kanpei Hazama , Masaya KatO, Tamio Kawachi, Susumu Kimura, Hiroyuki Nagato, Hitoshi Ozawa, Kazuyoshi Ozawa, TetsurO Tanba, Yoshiyuki Yamaguchi
Director: Takashi Miike
Language: Japanese (English subtitles)
USA & UK: 129 mins
UK Certificate: 18 contains strong fetishised sexual imagery
USA Release Date: 13 August 2004 (Limited Release - Los Angeles)
USA Release Date: 30 July 2004 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 30 July 2004
Takashi Miike, the director of AUDITION, breaks the mould again with an unprecedented Yakuza Horror film! Takashi Miike has scared the pants off audiences not only in Japan but worldwide with his plots and visuals in films like AUDITION and DEAD OR ALIVE.
Refusing to limit himself, Miike has continued to make films in genres that interest him from horror to violence and even fantasy. In 2002, he teamed up with writer Sakichi Sato embarking on the film adaptation of Hideo Yamamoto's radical manga ICHI THE KILLER. The film further raised the ante on the shock factor in Miike films adding yet another ballistic page in Miike's filmography.
However, this was a mere prologue to what would come next. In spite of the unparalleled high-level gore and gross-out factor of ICHI THE KILLER, Miike and Sato teamed up again to shock the world once more in 2003. The stage for this adventure is the villainous profligate society of the Japanese mafia, a world where order is preserved by the bonds of blood. However, what if an unexplained natural phenomenon were to disrupt the normal rules of operation? Despite the countless yakuza films in Japan, GOZU combines this genre with the horror genre in a way that no one has ever tried or dared to even think about.
"Gozu" is a demon said to exist in hell. It has a head of a cow and body of human.
Minami, a member of the Azamawari crew, highly respects his Aniki (literally means "older brother" in Japanese) Ozaki who saved his life in the past. However, lately Ozaki's eccentricities like claiming that a Chihuahua he sees is a "yakuza attack dog" have been making everyone wonder about his sanity. The chairman Azamawari is unsympathetic to Ozaki's little outbursts and secretly orders Minami to take Ozaki to the yakuza disposal dump in Nagoya.
But, tragedy strikes on the road to Nagoya. Minami tries to control Ozaki's derangement once again but mistakenly ends up killing him. However, Minami is at a loss when he loses track of the body while talking to the chairman on the telephone.
Minami trips over his heels in the unfamiliar territory of Nagoya in search of Ozaki. Nagoya is warped at every turn. He goes into a coffee shop to use the phone only to be confronted with the persistent bantering in local dialect of two suspicious characters. When he goes to the police to ask for help, the cop is from Hong Kong.
This town is whacked. Minami visits the Shiroyama crew under the direction of his boss Azawamari and is introduced to Nose, a quirky guy with half of his face painted white, who takes him to a local inn to spend the night. The Masakazu Inn, run by two middle aged siblings, Masa and Kazu, is old and run down and well off the beaten path. A white liquid trickles down in thick drops from the ceiling in Minami's room all night.
The next day, Minami tries to make a fresh start and returns to the coffee shop where Ozaki went missing. There, the shop owner who Minami talked to the day before declares that he doesn't remember him. But Nose has some hopeful news. While Minami was using the bathroom yesterday, a man resembling Minami's mafia brother came in asking for directions. Minami quickly canvases the area for information and Ozaki's trail leads him back to the Masakazu Inn where he stayed the previous night. Masa tells him that a man came late last night and stayed in the room directly above his.
That night, Minami waits in the room on the second floor hoping that Ozaki will return. In the middle of the night, someone comes up the stairs. But, the person who flings open the door is a cow headed man who doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to Ozaki. The monster licks Minami's face with its slimy tongue and he faints.
When Minami awakes the next morning, he finds a note from Ozaki between his legs. The signed message reads: Meet me at the dump. Minami races to the site but it's too late. Ozaki has already been disposed of. He couldn't meet his beloved brother in time. A disheartened Minami returns to the car only to find a beautiful woman sitting in the back seat. She tells him an unbelievable story that he thinks is a trick. She insists "she" is "his brother Ozaki"!