4. THE HAPPINESS OF THE KATAKURIS (2001)

One can imagine Takashi Miike’s thought process prior to making The Happiness Of The Katakuris: “OK, so the critics think that my movies are twisted? Now I have to go completely overboard.”

Best described as a “horror musical,” The Happiness Of The Katakuris is cinema at its most batshit, as well as its most inventive. It’s about a family that runs a mountainside inn where patrons repeatedly die before morning sunrises. The plot moves through grandiose song-and-dance numbers, stop-motion animation, and perverse Claymation, all of which allows Miike to indulge in a playfulness and upbeat spirit not seen in the majority of his bleak pics.

Not all of the musical parts work, with a few of the sing-song interludes lasting much longer than is necessary. The Happiness Of The Katakuris is so outlandishly strange, though, that pardoning Miike’s mishaps requires little effort.

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