Crazy Lips (2000)

Michio (Kazuma Suzuki), the one surviving male member of the Kurahashi family, has been accused of murder, having apparently beheaded several school girls. The fact that Michio’s late father was executed on similar charges has led the public to believe that the family is cursed, resulting in a hoard of protesters and media vultures camping outside the Kurahashi home. Michio’s sister Satomi (Hitomi Miwa), along with their mother and younger sibling, are left to endure constant harassment at the hands of the mob while Michio himself remains at large. At the end of her rope, Satomi seeks out psychic detective Etsuko Mamiya (Yoshiko Yura), who promises to help clear Michio’s name and find the real killer, on condition that Satomi and her family submit to whatever demands she may have. Despite the family’s initial skepticism, Mamiya appears to be a genuine psychic, although, as it turns out, Satomi herself has a few talents of her own. The group attempt a séance, in which the headless girls appear, and Mamiya turns them into messengers, sending them to hunt down their own heads and the killer who took them. Meanwhile, in lieu of the five million yen that Satomi can’t afford to pay her, Mamiya demands that mother and daughters submit to being sexually assaulted by her manservant, Touma – not to worry, though, because Touma appears to be endowed with a power that makes any woman he rapes fall head over heels in love with him. Throw in a pair of FBI agents, the female of which speaks only in broken English and has a super-kawaii personality, some three-way necrophilia and plenty of gravity-defying karate, and things only start to get weird.

The film’s initial set-up had me intrigued; rarely do we see the families of criminals, whether guilty or innocent, being recognized as victims in their own right, and I felt for the situation suffered by Satomi and her family. After that, things go insane and rarely let up. The various rapes committed by Touma (who is pretty much to rape what Jason Voorhees is to killing teens) are treated in a surprisingly heavy-handed, almost comedic manner, in a way that no American director would ever get away with without being, at the very least, labeled a misogynist.  While not quite as gory as I was expecting, the film more than makes up for it in the sheer audacity of its characters and the senselessness of its plot, which feels like a family drama that was spontaneously dry-humped by Takashi Miike. Recommended to those not easily offended and who have no problem with their movie going off the rails into mushroom land.

Things I learned from this movie:

  • Random, spontaneous musical numbers are common among Japanese women.
  • Rape is love
  • Wigs are a total waste when scalps can be procured for free
  • Every Japanese person knows karate, without exception
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