Nicholas Pollotta | Chicago, Illinois, USA | 10/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a Japanese live-action film (with subtitles) about a pro wrestler who dies, but is reincarnated as a man-size squid, and tries to reclaim his lost wrestling title.
Took me about fifteen minutes before I realized it was a satire of the boxing movie, "Rocky". Actually, it's a satire on all of the Rocky movies combined.
Laughed so hard I fell off my chair a few times. Absolutely brain-melting, Highly recommended (that is, if you happen to enjoy the truly bizarre)
Started Off Great but Takes a Wrong Turn...
Nick Tropiano | Havertown, PA United States | 02/26/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Given my lifelong fascination with both squid jokes and professional wrestling, this film was certainly a "must see" for me. Started out great actually. Seemed at first more like Kafka's Metamorphosis and less like a satire. Played almost straight - like a drama but with just the right touch of unavoidable campy humor, you catch yourself getting over the absurd concept of a human-sized, reincarnated as a squid, former professional wrestling star out to reclaim his love and his wrestling title, and start legitimately getting into the plot. What could have been a possibly brilliant, surreal, entertaining and original film, however, takes an odd left turn and gets lost due to an abrupt shift in tone right around the time of the squid's championship match when his opponent morphs, for no apparent reason, into a giant octopus...
From there its cheap fish jokes and frenetic and bizarre and random plot "twists" that are reminiscent of cartoon Anime like Bobobo-bobo-bobo on Cartoon Network.
Weird flick but less due to its bizarre plot than the bizarre shift it takes half-way through the film. That said, this isn't a bad film. It doesn't fall into the "so bad it's good" category either. It's also surprisingly entertaining, quite funny at times. However, had it just stayed consistent with the direction it was going in the first half, it would have been a much better film.
Still, it's entertaining and worth a watch if you're into off-beat cinema."
Its a guy in a big squid costume! Wrestling! Falling in Love
Zack Davisson | Seattle, WA, USA | 07/12/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Calamari Wrestler" is an absolutely bizarre film. It is almost like a Troma flick, like "Toxic Avenger", but much of the Troma fun comes from the sex, violence and raunchy humor, whereas "Calamari Wrestler" is kind of....sweet. And even romantic.
The story, what there is of it, follows a wrestler who is reincarnated as a giant squid. Now, this guy loves wrestling so much, he isn't about to let his new squid body get in his way. He jumps back in the ring, and the Calamari Wrestler becomes an overnight sensation, especially when he faces off and beats the Octopus Wrestler. All the sports flick cliches come into play, as the Calamari Wrestler gets star struck by his own fame, finds true love, endorses products...until suddenly, a strong young shrimp steps in and beats the Calamari Wrestler down. He must train hard to regain his title and self-respect.
There are no special effects here to speak of. The Calamari Wrestler is just a guy walking around with a big squid suit stuck on him. Part of the charm is just how seriously the actors take the story. One almost bounces back and forth wondering if this is a comedy or not.
But make no mistake, it is. Director Minoru Kawasaki specializes in doing parody flicks, riffing on popular genres and making strange movies like "The World Sinks Except Japan" and other oddities.
Just how odd do you like your movies? That is the question you have to ask yourself when considering "Calamari Wrestler". If you like the bizarre and surreal, if a Midnight Madness b-movie is your idea of heaven, then this just might be for you. It was a little too much for me."
Oh my sweet Napalm
Freeze | OH | 09/27/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The opening sequence of the film is amazingly hilarious, and it sadly does not keep that level of hilarity throughout. BUT there are some great moments, mainly the wrestling scenes with the squid, octopus and shrimp/lobster thing and all of the "heartfelt" scenery. The training montage is comic gold. Strangely, the film is like a soap opera where the main character is a squid that wrestles. The low budget costumes are perfect for the tone of the film and will often make you laugh out loud (the eyes are great).
Recommended only for fans of films of the super weird Asian variety."