Kyoso Tanjo (1993)

Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Kazuo (Masato Hagiwara) is not taken in the by phony miracles put on by the religious group he encounters during one of its tours of Japan, but he is genuinely fascinated by the conmanship of it all. The group is fronted by the sincere elderly master Tetsuharu (Koji Tamaki), who takes the hardworking young man as a sincere devotee, but its showmanship is entirely the product of Daisuke and Shiba (Beat Takeshi and Ittoku Kishibe), working in concert, and they take Kazuo as another unbeliever like themselves. When the con-men in religious guise decide that they need a 100% fake operation, they choose Kazuo to replace Tetsuharu, but the rank-and-file grow restive, and eventually they bring back the old man. This unusual satire is based on a wildly popular novel by well-known movie-man eat Takeshi.