The Happiness of the Katakuris (2001)

What do you get when you mix the Sound of Music, Bad Taste and the Japanese sense of humour? Excellence. It just so happens I love zombies, musicals and Japan; Takashi Miike‘s* The Happiness of the Katakuris (カタクリ家の幸福) is a musical family drama comedy filled with corpses.

As a result of the father of the Katakuri family getting fired from his salaryman job, the Katakuri family has moved to a rural area in the middle of nowhere. The dedicated father dreams to have the entire family working together to make their White Lovers’ Inn a success and to find happiness in each other. Together with his perfect housewife Terue, they have their hands full with an old grandfather and Pochi the dog, a son with an attitude, fresh out of prison, and a divorced, empty-headed daughter with a toddler in row.  The real trouble begins as the first guest to the inn kills himself, and for the fear of bad reputation from the incident, the family buries him in the forest behind the house. The deaths just do not end there, but the family learns the value of working together…

The gruesome theme of the film is wonderfully complemented by terrible acting, really awful musical song and dance, and truly brilliant special effects, and even some unexpected twists. I can’t say much of this film without spoiling it for anyone, except that if you love absurd humour and appreciate a bad film well-made – this is right up the alley for those of us who love Monty Python.

* The same who gave us Ichi the Killer and Sukiyaki Western Django, among other things.


2 Responses to “The Happiness of the Katakuris (2001)”

  1. April 5, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    I’ve enjoyed zom coms in the past, but this is the first time I’ve heard of a zombie musical comedy. I’ve also enjoyed the occasional weird Japanese movie, so The Happiness of the Katakuris might be worth checking out sometime. Great review!

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