When talking about a film made by Takashi Miike, it goes without saying that it’s weird; that’s a given. Gozu certainly falls under the “weird” category and then some, but the problem is, it’s not terribly entertaining. The story has something to do with a young yakuza who finds himself in the middle of a nightmarish, Lynchian town where women serve up their own breast milk as a beverage and a man with a cow’s head isn’t an uncommon sight. And as bizarre as that stuff is, the last 15-minutes makes what came before it look like The Sound of Music. I don’t object to the oddities that Miike’s populated his film with; no, the reason Gozu fails is because it’s a bore, plain and simple. Miike presumably expects us to be amused by how wonderfully off-the-wall everything is, but without a single compelling character, it’s impossible to ever become involved in the story. Still, there is that last 15-minutes, which really does have to be seen to be believed (and trust me, try and catch this with an audience; their reactions almost makes this mess worth sitting through).

* out of ****

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