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Japan, 1984 (MIFF 2001, Electric Angels – The Films of Ishii Sogo)

Director: Ishii Sogo

The Kobayashi family has problems Mum is getting juiced up and stripping when the neighbours stop by for afternoon tea; son and daughter lock themselves in their bedrooms to engage in a multitude of eccentric pastimes including wrestling practice, pyramid power and marathon study, sessions involving pencil stab wounds, in order to stay awake. Father Kobayashi is terrified that his family is going insane...again! When loopy grandad arrives looking for a place to stay, events take a turn for the worst, if that's possible.

In this wild, flamboyant and sadistic black comedy, Ishii attacks suburban complacency without remorse. Picket fences become weapons instead of a symbol of security. The director takes the strange personal quirks and hostility lurking just beneath the surface of a typical household, and then adds termites.

White-ant paranoia leads to attempted mass suicide and gladiatorial combat armed with kitchen utensils and powertools. Crazy Family packs a punch, and a couple of headbutts for good measure Hysteria steps into the ring with slapstick.

"One of the most genuinely demented movies to ever emerge from Japan. Mixing sledgehammer social satire with rapid-fire cinematic dementia, this is an unforgettable excursion into the darkest recesses of his culture's middle-class values."—Chicago Reader

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