Gozu (2003)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Horror Comedy  |   Release Date - Jul 30, 2004 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 129 min.  |   Countries - Japan  |   MPAA Rating - R
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At a yakuza gathering, Ozaki (Shô Aikawa of the Dead or Alive films) unsettles the boss (Renji Ishibashi) when he claims a small dog outside the restaurant is a "yakuza attack dog" and viciously smashes it to death. Minami (Hideki Sone) is assigned to drive the apparently unstable Ozaki to a remote location and kill him. Minami considers Ozaki a "brother," and feels ambivalent about this assignment. After several odd incidents on the road, Minami ends up in the small town of Nagoya, where things get even odder. Unable to get a signal on his cellular, Minami goes into a restaurant to use the phone, and Ozaki, whom he thought to be unconscious, promptly vanishes. When Minami finally contacts the boss, he's told to get in touch with the local Shiroyama crew. Minami doesn't know his way around, and the weird locals seem more interested in animated, interminable arguments about the weather than in helping him find his way. Eventually he runs into Nose (Shôhei Hino), who seems relatively sane, and offers to help him find Ozaki. Minami spends the night at an inn, where the innkeeper (Keiko Tomita) possesses a strange lactating power (which she's eager to demonstrate), and mistreats her mentally challenged employee (Harumi Sone). After another frustrating day searching for Ozaki, during which he encounters the decrepit Shiroyama crew, Minami finds a note from his "brother," and travels to the town dump to meet him, only to find Ozaki (now played by Kimika Yoshino) in a transformed state. Gozu was directed by the prolific Takashi Miike from a script by Sakichi Satô, who also wrote the script for Miike's Ichi the Killer.

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Keywords

gangster, hired-gun [hit man], hotel, small-town, missing-person, bizarre, innkeeper, mental-breakdown, paranoia