On the surface, Ishii's 'crazy family' is as normal as you or me: husband, wife and two pretty, healthy teenage kids, living in the suburban house of their dreams. But Ishii rips aside this bourgeois façade to show the horror festering beneath. Dad's mind is a seething can of paranoid worms, convinced that his 'love' is the only cure for the 'sickness' he detects in the others, and well before the end he's trying to trick them into a painless group suicide with a stout dose of insecticide in the coffee. The problems come to a head when his senile father (disgusting as only the elderly know how to be) visits and outstays his welcome, forcing Dad to take a chainsaw to the living-room floor with the perfectly reasonable intention of digging a cellar-cum-fallout shelter to accommodate the old misery. But that's when he strikes the nest of white ants... Seeing Ishii's film is a bit like rediscovering the thrill of your first encounter with Monty Python all those years ago: black humour at its most vicious (ie. funniest), paced like a commuter express and spiked with a dash of science fiction to keep even the most micro-chipped viewer unsure where he, she or it is going.
Cast and crew
Yoshinori Kobayashi, Fumio Konami, Sogo Ishii