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Sundance '14 Review: R100 - What the Hell Did I Just Watch?!

Movie Review Sundance 2014 by Joey Paur

Writer/Director: Hitoshi Matsumoto

Starring: Nao Ohmori, Lindsay Kay Hayward, Hairi Katagiri

I'm going to be completely upfront with you... I have no idea how to review this movie. It made absolutely no sense at all! I don't think it's supposed to. There's always one movie at Sundance that catches you off guard and punches you in the face. R100 left me with a bloody nose, and you know what? I think I liked being punched in the face, but I'm still not sure. This movie was so strange, so weird, and so whacked out insane!

The basic plot of the story follows a man who signs a contract with an S&M company called Bondage. The contract states that their dominatrixes will appear at any given time to put him through hell and beat the shit out of him. It gives him a euphoria high that oddly transforms his face into a happy state. The reason for all this is to take his mind off of the problems with his wife who is in a coma. Sounds like a pretty simple concept, right? Well, it's not! The world he enters gets deep and dark, and even his young son is pulled into the insanity. At one point a dominatrix hogties and hangs the kid from the ceiling, while another dominatrix disgustingly spits on his dad while he is tied up on the floor. The kid is alive, he's just hanging there. That's just an example of what happens in this movie. There's even a dominatrix that swallows people whole like a snake for cryin' out loud! 

A lot of people walked out of the movie because of its madness. But it's that same madness that kept me in my seat. I had to know how it ended, I needed to know the point of it all! But guess what? There was no point! In fact, there's a fictional 100 year old director in the film that directed the movie (but not really), who says that only 100 year old people would get the movie. We all know that's not true, though!

The movie was insanely stupid, but it has its moments of utter awesomeness. For example, when things hit a level of jacked up stupidity, the movie stopped and cut to a scene of studio executives who are watching the same exact film, and they are breaking it down, talking about how stupid it is and how it doesn't make any sense. They literally talk about and say all of the things that the audience is thinking. After they finish they go back in to watch the movie, and then the movie continues for the audience. This happens a couple of times throughout the film, and it's pretty damn funny.

You really can't appreciate or not appreciate this movie unless you actually see it for yourself. It's not something I can recommend to just anyone. The best thing I can compare it to is a really strange live-action anime. Take the strangest anime you've ever seen, and this is probably stranger. If you like insanely weird movies that don't have a point and make no sense, then you will want to watch this movie. It's seriously not for everyone though.

Official Synopsis:

Mild-mannered bureaucrat Takafumi Katayama has a secret. He spends his days at his meaningless office job, while at night he cares for his young son and comatose wife. But every now and then, his routine is interrupted by a series of sultry, leather-clad dominatrices, each with a more bizarre skill set than the last. Katayama has joined a hidden, mysterious S&M club that specializes in surprising its clients in public and applying sadistic, sexual torture in any place at any time. Then a line is crossed, and an escalating game of vengeance ensues.

Employing an exuberant swirl of gonzo set pieces, imaginative plot twists, and absurd metaexperiences executed with complete control, director Hitoshi Matsumoto unleashes a wildly over-the-top, intense sex comedy upon an unsuspecting international audience. Even the title, referencing Japanese rating systems, suggests that no mind younger than 100 years old can grasp the fantasia within the film. Be warned.

 

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