Dark but overlong Japanese serial killer horror from director Sion Sono
Sion Sono has had a varied and intriguing career directing hair extension horror Exte and the award winning four hour Love Exposure. Here he returns with a dark serial killer character study told from the perspective of Shamoto (Mitsuru Fukikoshi) who runs a small tropical fish shop. He’s grudgingly taken under the wing of the pushy over bearing Murata (Denden) who owns a far more successful tropical fish store after his daughter Mitsuko (Hikari Kajiwara) is caught shoplifting. He’s soon caught in a cycle of murder and body disposal after he learns Murata’s unique take on business transactions.
Loosely based on real events, Cold Fish is a story of disintegration as control slips through Shamoto’s fingers and he becomes trapped in a world of violence. It’s far too long (running at almost two and half hours, it’s 20 minutes before the title card even shows), the story doesn’t require the extended runtime but at least it gives the characters time to breath, fleshing out their idiosyncrasies. All leading to a suitably shocking, if a little predictable, blood soaked finale.