R100, 2013

Warner Bros. & Yoshimoto Kogyo Company

The Queen of Saliva dance number is King, it is the fucking Nobel Prize for Chuck “skilfully impudent” Palahniuk, it is the Lifetime Achievement Oscar for Vincent Gallo, it’s the Enola Gay of mucus, it is a mighty Himalayan slap in the face of the likes of Haneke and Trier and Ferrara, it is the Grammy for the best fucked up score ever. Life would be hell without the dance number – I just realized that. How did I manage to come this far without The Queen of Saliva dance number that pays tribute to the ultra B Japanese films from a very long time ago? It is the thirty million lotto that some guy won two days before he died. 

This has to be the strangest film I have ever had the pleasure of watching. Beautifully and weirdly imagined, yet extremely peculiar. Notwithstanding the loose ends and the fact that director Hitoshi Matsumoto (Big Man Japan, 2007) deliberately leaves holes in the sickly orange plot by approaching this avant-garde, anti-thesis to Hollywood, fuzzy-to-the-hilt, film. You know that because the hole that was not covered, turns out to be a portal for the CEO (Lindsay Kay Hayward – a seven-foot wrestler turned actor, also known as Isis to her fans) to appear from and dive into a pool, five hundred and twenty-seven times. The film is highly transgressive in its exploration of deviant sex, it is audaciously mischievous.

Ichi‘ of ‘the Killer‘ fame (Nao Ōmori) is now a loving father and all grown up and goes by the name of Takafumi Katayama. However, the mundanity of life makes him join a seedy, underground Bondage club and things spiral out of the fourth dimension and control after that.

However, Is it really a film about S&M as the critics say it is, by making leather and whip cracking and the Leather Harness Mouth Belt with Soft Rubber Ball Gag from eBay the epicenter of debate? I think not.
The film is an alphabet soup of one farce yet potent idea too many. 

A well-meaning film, which ends at the halfway point and then starts again, pulling the viewer in the bed with it, by force. R100 is an insane film that makes you feel everything from dying of laughter to wait a second, where’d the cop go? to the pill-popping concierge. What… who…? to no fucking way, that’s not a fil… what the fuck? 

R100 is Dumbo in the fridge, it is Jaws tearing itself apart, it is fucking Oldboy coming outta the room after a 100 years with a swollen face and shit eating bloated smile on his face. 

R100 is an alternate universe that asks questions like these: What if Takashi Miike made a fourth film for the Before Sunrise franchise and what if Sion Sono (Noriko’s Dinner Table, 2005) directed Titanic. Unimaginable. 

I really liked how Matsumoto blurs the lines between reality and the conviction with which, a warped reality takes its place. I liked the film very much, in all its baffling, inexplicable, extra-ordinarily outlandish glory.

As for the critics, Matsumoto made sure he shut them up even before he shouted “それは完全なだ” (that’s a wrap) into the blowhorn. 

Was that an earthquake?”

– Recurring line in the film



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