Japanese media is synonymous with weird. Everything from game shows, movies, comics, and even music are each effected by Japan’s fondness for the bizarre. Although a large amount of their quirks have been embraced as their general style and appeal for some, several films still stand above others as some seriously insane fare.
Even for Japanese film fans, these movies still evoke a “WTF” from their devoted viewers. But would we really want it any other way? Actually, maybe.
Funky Forest (Naisu no mori: The First Contact — 2005)
If anyone was ever to express their disbelief that Japanese movies can sometimes be completely bats*** insane — although we doubt anyone ever really would — this is the movie to prove them wrong. While completely mad, there’s an inexplicable, weird charm to the whole thing, even gathering a devoted cult following in an extremely short amount of time after its release.
Honestly, we could have left this list at Funky Forest, as it equivocates the insanity of all the others on this list combined and a substantial bit more, but we felt giving variety to Japan’s antics would only make you love their work even more.
Glory to the Filmmaker (監督·ばんざい! — 2007)
Seemingly tame when followed by a movie like Funky Forest, Glory to the Filmmaker was written, directed and stars the legendary “Beat” Takeshi Kitano (Sonatine, Takeshi’s Castle) and is the second film, following Takeshis’, in his loosely named “semi-autobiographical” series.
Glory to the Filmmaker follows inauspicious director Takeshi — who plays an exaggerated version of himself — who begins dabbling in different genres in an attempt to create his magnum opus.
EXTE: Hair Extensions (エクステ — 2007)
Hair horror is a genre all its own in Japan, and no film more perfectly exemplifies it than that of Sion Sono’s EXTE: Hair Extensions.
EXTE weaves the tale (yes, pun intended) of a morgue night watch man / tricophile — aka hair fetishist — who steals the corpse of a girl whose hair continuously grows from every orifice of her body. After he begins harvesting the hair and selling them as hair extensions, he happens upon hair stylist, Yuko — played by Chiaki Kuriyama, best known for her role as ‘Gogo’ in Kill Bill Vol. 1 — who he instantly is taken with and begins to sell her salon his extensions. Unfortunately for Yuko and her customers, the extensions are cursed, driving those who wear them mad and killing them.
Meatball Machine (ミートボールマシン — 2005)
Combining sci-fi and gore horror in the style of Tetsuo, Meatball Machine opted to limit its story-telling abilities in lieu of bizarre alien mutant things, a truck load of shock gore, and a whole lot of mind-numbing insanity and hypersexualized innuendos.
After Yōji finds a strange alien egg and takes it home, he inadvertently unleashes the alien parasite on his love interest / co-worker, transforming her into a pseudo-mech humanoid monster.
HK: Hentai Kamen (究極!!変態仮面 — 2013)
When high school student, Shikijō, accidentally puts a pair of panties over his head in order to conceal his face from his crush, he gains perverted, supernatural powers.
You know what? F*** it.
Cover image via
Gifs created by Another Castle via imgur