Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actor: Kenichi Endo
Director: Takashi Miike
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Visitor Q is one of the most disturbing and — taboo-bashing experimental works from acclaimed director Takashi Miike of Audition, Ichi The Killer and Crows Zero fame. Presenting a harrowing absurd take on the reality TV phe... more »
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Mother's milk heals all family squabbles!
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 01/29/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After viewing "Audition" and "Ichi the Killer," I doubted whether Japanese director Takashi Miike could shock me again. Boy, was I wrong! If you thought the piano wire scene in "Audition" went far beyond the pale, or the hot oil bath in "Ichi the Killer" left you speechless--as it did me--prepare yourself for the new nightmare that is "Visitor Q." The scenes in this film about a twisted Japanese family would make the Marquis de Sade leave the room in disgust. I have no idea what Miike was thinking when he made this film, but remember this one little fact--"Visitor Q" is a made for television movie. That's right, after viewing this movie remind yourself that this obscenity aired on Japanese television within the last couple of years. We Americans cannot put forth any prime time fodder that could even remotely compare to this atrocity, unless you count something like "Teletubbies." Thank goodness we still have a few qualms. As much as I distrust censorship of any type, I am definitely not ready to see something like "Visitor Q" on network television on this side of the pond. "Visitor Q" takes a penetrating look at your typical Japanese middle class family, Miike style. The father of this bizarre clan works as a reality television host who is always willing to go so far over the line in his broadcasts that his fellow workers shun the his very presence. The daughter of the family no longer lives at home since she is too busy putting in a full schedule at a brothel somewhere in town. The young son in this creepy household spends his days meekly submitting to a trio of bullies who beat him up after school. The mother is a real winner, a heroin addict and prostitute who allows her abused son to beat her with wicker canes. The mother and father fail to communicate on any substantive level. The son's problems with the bullies goes unheeded by the family, except when the father decides to fashion a new reality program centering on his child's beatings. The relationship between the father and his daughter is best left unelaborated on here; it is sufficient to say it is one of the most warped father/daughter connections in film history. Yes, this family suffers a host of psychological problems that would give a Sigmund Freud a coronary.All of these people are sick to the core of their souls, a problem that is about to undergo a radical change with the introduction of a complete stranger into the household. This anonymous (we never learn his name), scruffy looking youth first makes an appearance on the scene when he hits the father of the family on the head with a rock--twice. For some mysterious reason, dad brings this guy home with him for dinner. As time goes by, we see this chap increasingly integrate himself into the daily lives of the family. He sets his sights on the mother at first, rekindling a sense of motherhood in the woman in yet another unmentionable scene (there are a lot of unmentionable events in this movie). The interaction between the stranger and the mother is the most dramatic in the film, but eventually the father, son, and even daughter all fall under the spell of this enigmatic visitor. The end result of these odd encounters is a type of peculiar healing, where the family abandons their insane behavior and returns to a sense of normalcy. Obviously, "Visitor Q" is a Miike film, so the healing takes some really stomach churning turns along the way. After all, there is nothing like dismemberment and a host of other depravities to turn a family around!There has been some effort to emphasize the reality television elements of the film, but "Visitor Q" has little to do with this theme. There are only a few scenes that even deal with this element, specifically the first taboo shattering images between the father and daughter and a couple of other short bits later in the movie. What is really going on here has to do with the Japanese family and how it deals with the pressures of modern life in an industrialized society. Miike likes to shock with his films, and his target audience must surely have expressed such an emotion when they saw his take on a traditional Japanese family plagued with so many obnoxious psychopathologies. As weird as it sounds, I firmly believe "Visitor Q" is actually an extremely conservative film. Even as the director breaks the bounds of good taste, he seems to possess an earnest belief in the overriding importance of the healthy family unit. You could easily make the argument that images of the type indulged in by Miike have led to the breakdown of the family, and it would be an effective argument, but this movie does contain a strong pro-family theme."Visitor Q" runs for about eighty four minutes, short compared to the other two Miike films I have seen. The picture quality is excellent. Extras on the DVD include four trailers--"Visitor Q," "Samurai Fiction," "Fudoh," and "Freeze Me"--some liner notes about Miike's films and a short biography about the director. Once again, Media Blasters has released another soul shattering movie to DVD. The disc I watched had a technical problem, though: whenever I hit the menu button on my remote control the picture went gray and I had to start the disc over again. Perhaps this flaw appeared only on my copy of the movie, but it's something to think about before purchasing if it is a widespread glitch. I look forward to watching more Miike mayhem in the near future. If you would like to examine this director's queasy visions, "Visitor Q" is the ideal starting place before moving on to the more complex "Audition.""
A touching celebration of family values
Garry Messick | Boynton Beach, FL USA | 02/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A subversive fable from the brilliant Takashi Miike, Visitor Q is some kind of demented masterpiece. Diverse influences are apparent here, from Bunuel (his delight in mocking bourgeois values) to Kubrick (static shots, symmetrical compositions) to absurdist and surrealist film in general. Miike presents us with a family that gives new meaning to the word "dysfunctional." The father is a TV reporter so desperate for sensational topics to tackle that he videotapes himself having sex with his prostitute daughter. He placidly eats his supper while his teenage son whips and beats the mother, who also works as a prostitute in order to support her heroin habit. One day the father brings home a mysterious guest (the titular Visitor, although his name is never given) who casually exerts an almost godlike power over the family, bringing them together in a most unexpected manner. The film is very funny at times, sometimes in an almost slapstick way, sometimes in a VERY dark, twisted way. There's plenty of room for debate. Who or what is Visitor Q? What exactly has he done and what does it say about the nature of familial love? This daring film will haunt you for days after seeing it."
Some people should not be allowed to watch Miike.
Jack Smith | W-S, NC uSSa | 03/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are a moralistic bore, who was offended by Little Miss Sunshine (as apparently many were) DON'T watch this film.
If you enjoy the early films of John Waters and enjoy being jolted and even disturbed by over the top violent humor, then I say 'what are you waiting for a second brick to the head?'"
Well, that was lovely...
C. Christopher Blackshere | I am the devil's reject | 09/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Are you kidding me? This is so awesomely sick! I gotta drink a beer with Takashi Miike someday. Or sake, or whatever, that guy is way too cool.
Here is the most twisted, deranged, sick, offensive, bizzarre films ever. It even has a dark, unsettling humor where you might be embarrassed that you just laughed.
Not a lot of brutal murder shots in this one, Miike tries to come up with the sickest stuff imaginable just for kicks. It's packed with--no wait, it's better you have no prewarning. Just buy this film, watch it, love it!
Did I mention that it's sick?"