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Visitor Q

2 Ratings: 4.0
A movie

Director: Takashi Miike
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Release Date: March 17, 2002
MPAA Rating: R
1 review about Visitor Q

Takashi Miike's Twisted, Grotesque Vision of a Dysfunctional Family

  • Oct 1, 2009
Rating:
+4
 During a time when all the horror films seemed to have the usual plot devices, great looking actors and PG-13 ratings with an obligatory approval from test audiences, along comes Takashi Miike who has shocked us with his unpredictability, eccentric approach, unique style and controversial themes. Miike shocked us with “Audition” and with this film, “Visitor Q” (2001); he has been hailed as one of the best directors of this century and has been critically acclaimed for his contributions in the horror genre. Miike is brimming with twisted yet inventive ideas. One can argue that Miike does these shocking movies just for the sake of shocking his audience, but myself, I rather believe that Miike does what he does to make his viewer think.
 
A failed TV reporter named Kiyoshi (Kenichi Endo) is sent on sabbatical after his embarrassment on camera a few months ago. Kiyoshi provokes the most unusual reactions from his subjects that ended up with a microphone up his rear end. He becomes the laughing stock of his co-workers but even with this huge setback that threatens to end his career, Kiyoshi is determined to do a documentary about sex and violence among Japan’s youthful generation. He is so obsessed with this project that he exploits his own family’s misfortunes and issues to create material for his own documentary. One day, a mysterious stranger arrives to stay with the family for awhile, little do they know that their lives are about to change forever.
 
“Visitor Q” has got to be one of the most twisted, most bizarre films I have ever come across. We are familiar with the themes of a dysfunctional family, but none taken to the extreme such as in this film. Miike brings the focus of the film to certain things that are undoubtedly taboo such as drug use, incest, prostitution, murder, necrophilia and rape but these things are just previews of what you are into with “Visitor Q”. I was shocked in the film’s opening sequences as Miike approaches his audience with three twisted questions that reflects this family’s really messed up issues. The film is full of social taboos that come into play and presents these issues with a darkly satiric undertone. The film generates a genuine feeling of uneasiness and discomfort but I guarantee that as soon as the shock wears off, you will be laughing a little about the stuff that happens in the film. Well, maybe not so much as laughing with excitement but maybe a diabolical laugh?
 
Most of the film’s focus is on the family. The 5 characters in the movie are the main reason why the movie is just so wild and bizarre. As the film opens, we see Kiyoshi in a conversation with a young attractive prostitute who is about 15-20 years younger, their conversations eventually lead to sex. He gets charged double because he ended his ‘business‘ too early. Kiyoshi shows some remorse to his action because he just did it with his daughter? The mother, Keiko (Shungiku Uchida) is even more bizarre. She allows herself to be beaten by her son Takuya and has some S & M sessions with men to fulfill her addiction to drugs. Fujiko (Miki Yamazaki) is the daughter who runs away from home and becomes a hooker; she also has no problems with incest. Takuya (Jun Muto) is the son who is treated like crap in school; bullied and beaten all day. The bullies are so bold as they even throw fireworks in their house. Mr. Q is the ’visitor’ who doesn’t really say much, but seems to be the one who brings some light in the household by using an approach that just has to be witnessed; it involves some squirting, beating and even some use of a camcorder. Mr. Q makes them realize their mistakes by bringing their transgressions to an extreme, in a very bizarre and unbelievable manner.
 
Miike has several underlying brilliant ideas in the film. He seems to be challenging the male insecurities about sex in an ironic style, explores the image of a father figure in this society and makes a strong commentary about today’s Japan. There are several uses of symbolisms such as the jigsaw puzzle that represents the pieces of their lives, the mother’s milk, even the use of a camcorder. The movie is also very graphic, there is an abundance of sex and nudity although the crotch areas are “fogged” to make them blurry. (I rather thought that Miike was making a statement against censorship that he believes is pretentious) Miike also utilizes a cinematography that is quite unlike his previous films. “Visitor Q” has that aura of voyeurism and some scenes are seen through the lens of a handheld camera while some are seen through our characters‘ eyes matched with the usual filmmaking approach. The angles are kept simple but gives the viewer a feel of being “present” throughout the film.
 
The film has several twisted images guaranteed to repulse, shock and make you laugh. There is one scene that a living male has sex with a corpse and ends up getting stuck (talk about rigor mortis), but instead of being disturbing, the following sequence just becomes very humorous. I will have to omit the film’s details because the film just needs to be seen to be believed. You wouldn’t believe just how many times I said “WTF?” in my mind. The film’s entertainment value is felt through its shock value and twisted dark comedy. One has to be very open-minded to appreciate this film, that you have to not take it too seriously otherwise all you may feel is an objectionable sensation. I am pretty twisted and open-minded to any film, and I found “Visitor Q” to be a very good film.
 
Takashi Miike has once again given me reason to ponder just what is done in good or bad taste in filmmaking. Cultural viewpoints vary from every country and evolving society is forever pushing the limits of filmmaking. “Visitor Q” is the type of film that would be banned in several countries but remember, many mainstream films we see today were considered to be ‘shocking’ or smut some 40 years ago. Miike’s “Visitor Q” is a just a little ahead of its time that what may shock us now may be just ordinary in the near future. If you think I am twisted to like a movie such as this, then just try to remember, didn’t the Romans used to watch gladiators kill each other in their games?
 
Let yourself go and enjoy the guilty entertainment that is Takashi Miike who has been banned from “Masters of Horror” for his contribution “Imprint”…
 
Highly Recommended to those with open-minds and appreciate dark humor. [4 Stars]

 
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May 17, 2011
Wonderful review WP as always, especially when it comes to Miike.
 
October 02, 2009
Great review. I didn't know too much about this one but I will definitely see it soon. I've seen Audition, Sukiyaki,& one of the MPD films thus far. Miike is definitely prolific & it's hard to keep up with all the films he cranks out. His material is certainly not for everyone but I would take his films anyday of the week over Michael Bay or Marcus Nispel.
October 03, 2009
Heck yeh, dude! Miike is one twisted genius! Have you seen AUDITION? I have the full intention of reviewing it real soon. I will be reviewing more horror movies in this site than usual...
October 03, 2009
Audition was pretty fucked up but I enjoyed it. I was going through the list of his films on ol' ammie the other day. I had forgotten how many movies the dude had made although I knew he cranks them out left & right. Aside from Audition or Sukiyaki, what other films do you highly recommend?
October 03, 2009
I will be reviewing AUDITION pretty soon. Gozu is a must as well as FuDOH and Dead or Alive, DEADLY OUTLAW REKKA is also pretty twisted. Curiously, Miike is actually better known for his family flicks in Japan than for his horror flicks. I have yet to see DEMON POND and Graveyard of Honor. The man is one pretty versatile director. You know that the directed the original ONE MISSED CALL right?
October 03, 2009
Yeah, I don't even bother with the remakes anymore. I knew about his version of One Missed Call though I never saw it. Demon Pond sounds awesome but I've read that it's a filmed play which kinda turned me off. Well, maybe I should say made me re-think purchasing it although ammie offers some really inexpensive copies. I've heard that Gozu is definitely a mind fuck like the David Lynch films so I will prolly check that one out sometime. Gosh, I can hardly believe I'm so far behind on my Miike films. At the rate I'm going, it might take the rest of my life man. LOL
October 04, 2009
I know, I have my reservations about Demon Pond also. I may try and rent it first. Miike throws out more films than any director I know. I recently saw a horror-comedy called "Detective Story" by Miike,and I was a little disappointed. Maybe I just wasn't expecting a comedy, I'll have to give it another spin.
October 06, 2009
I was a tad bit disappointed in MPD. Of course, there's a rumor which I can't substantiate that the original cut of Miike's film was much more hardcore than the ol' tellie would allow it's viewers to witness so he had to make some cuts of the more nasty or brutal material. Unfortunately, those bits are lost forever or so it seems. Lemme know if you ever check out Demon Pond. It sounds interesting & I love the title but I have my reservations about purchasing my own copy.
 
October 02, 2009
Oh no- a necrophilia scene?! What will they come up with next? Then again, it worked just fine in "Clerks" so I guess I can't underestimate the comedic value of such things. Solid reviewing as always Mr. _the_thrill.
October 02, 2009
No, lol, I don't think it was quite that graphically, um intense! But good point.
October 03, 2009
The nec scene in this film was long and extensive. It was disturbing but at the same time humorous.
 
October 01, 2009
Probably not for me, but who knows one of these days if I were to go off the deep end it would probably be with this one.
October 02, 2009
I have to tell you, Karen, this movie is not for everyone but if you do get to be in the right mood, you will definitely appreciate its vision.
October 02, 2009
If I ever feel twisted, this is the one I've chosen to go with.
October 02, 2009
This is more twisted comedy-horror than an actual horror-drama. This was really good, but not as disturbing as "Strange Circus". I may follow this up with AUDITION.
October 02, 2009
You never reviewed AUDITION? Must have been TRASHIE then. Not even on the other place?
October 02, 2009
Nope not yet. Before I used to avoid reviewing movies that I really loved because I may sound too biased and/or a fanboy. Also, I wasn't confident enough in my early days of reviewing. Mack and Trashie both loved that movie. I will also be reviewing GOZU and finally DEAD OR ALIVE.
October 02, 2009
Knock me over with a feather!
October 04, 2009
I think Mack has before. Well, I just dropped a review for AUDITION...I was way overdue!
 
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