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100 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Set during the time of the Second Sino-Japanese War, Caterpillar tells the story of a Japanese soldier who returns home horrifically mutilated. Liutenant Kurokawa is literally nothing but a human torso: he has lost both his arms and legs, and with burns covering half his face, he is also unable to speak. His wife, Shigeko (Shinobu Terajima), is given the grueling task of looking after him, which, in addition to feeding and washing him, includes the job of satisfying his sexual desires -- impulses that remain as strong as ever in spite of his disabled condition. Taught to be dutiful and to do her part for her country, Shigeko bears her burden -- but as she realizes that her husband's life lies entirely in her hands, she begins to question the role she has accepted. A film that won Shinobu Terajima the Silver Bear award for Best Actress at the 2010 Berlin Film Festival, Caterpillar is at heart a powerful indictment of Japan's militaristic, nationalistic past. From acclaimed director Koji Wakamatsu (United Red Army).


A masterpiece. --The Hollywood Reporter

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Shinobu Terajima, Keigo Kasuya
  • Directors: Koji Wakamatsu
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Lorber Films
  • DVD Release Date: January 17, 2012
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0063E00FC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,686 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Among Koji Wakamatsu's films, "Caterpillar" is no doubt his best film yet. Unsettling but yet managing to retain the political message that Wakamatsu incorporates in his films.

For those who are familiar with Koji Wakamatsu's oeuvre and have looked at the filmmaker's history, you will know that he is well-known for his pink movie films of the '60s and '70s and his contribution to the "Pink Eiga" genre. To also know that he was a producer of Nagisa Oshima's controversial film "In the Realm of Senses" (1976) and similar to Oshima, willing to take on films that are not traditional style of storytelling in Japan and are known to have an edge.

But similar to Nagisa Oshima, Wakamatsu is also a rebel. In 2008, his film "United Red Army" was a docudrama on the tragedy of the Japanese radical left and America and in 2011, he began working on another political film based on the acclaimed novelist and political activist Yukio Mishima titled "1.25 Jiketsu No Hi, Mishima Yukio To Wakamonotachi" (11.25 the Day of Self Determination, Yukio Mishima and the Youth).

But if you explore Wakamatsu's work, you will realize that aside from his political films, he was known to create very low-budget films in his career that showcased sex and violence with political messages.

And in 2010, his film "Caterpillar" was screened and also competed for the Golden Bear at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival and earned actress Shinobu Terajim the Silver Bear Award for "Best Actress" at the 2010 Berlin Film Festival.

The film also received critical praise from critics and deemed as Wakamatsu's "masterpiece".

And now both "Caterpillar" and his docudrama "United Red Army" will be released in the United States on DVD courtesy of Kino Lorber Inc.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Zack Davisson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 29, 2011
Format: DVD
The first few minutes of "Caterpillar" do not promise a great movie. Shot on what looks like digital video, with bad special effects of a burning building that look like they were done on someone's home computer, I figured this was yet another low-budget Japanese horror film.

I was wrong.

Nominated for Golden Bear (director) and winner of the Silver Bear (Best actress) at the Berlin International Film Festival, "Caterpillar" is an intense anti-war film, heavily political and nothing even approaching a horror film. Director Wakamatsu Koji made the film in response to the re-release of Mishima Yukio's militaristic right-wing movie Patriotism, showing the harsh reality of Japan's military cult of WWII.

Nominally based off of Edogawa Rampo's banned short story of the same name (Found in Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination), "Caterpillar" shares only the briefest of association with Rampo's tale. Wakamatsu changed the setting from the Russo-Sino war (where Japan was the victor) to WWII, and swapped the aggressive roles of the husband and wife.

The caterpillar of the title is Kurokawa Tadashi (Katsuya Keigo), who marched bravely off to war and returned a living torso, lacking arms, legs, hearing or speech. His neighborhood honors him as a living God of Soldiers, but his wife Shigeko (Terajima Shinobu) knows a different side of Kurokawa. Lacking anything else, Kurokawa has been reduced to a being of sensations. He eats. He sleeps. And he wants sex. All the time. Shigeko endures as a good wife should, but her hatred of her caterpillar husband overtakes her.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Eileen Corder on February 20, 2012
Format: DVD
By far the most conventional of Wakamatsu's films, Caterpillar is, nonetheless, extremely effective in its use of icons to construct an antiwar poem for all time: the reoccurring image of villagers throwing up their arms shouting "Banzai! Banzai!", the neatly framed portraits of the Emperor and Empress displayed next to the newspaper clipping and the hero's three war medals, the quadriplegic veteran forever lying behind the screen, routinely fed, cleansed and serviced by his wife (deftly played by Shinobu Terajima, for which she was named best actress at the Berlin International Film Festival). But the most indelible image is that of the "caterpillar" dressed up in coat, medals and hat, who is paraded around as the "War God" in a garden cart. This must be the most absurd yet dramatically charged image of insanity, group insanity, as villagers bow and officers salute. The "War God" is indeed a hell-being and within this mutilated man's mind we catch glimpses of horrors in repeated flashbacks. Interesting that also in "flashback" are brief clips of archival footage.

If you're new to Wakamatsu, this is certainly a good place to start. His knockout 2007 United Red Army is now also available on Lorber Films. Thank you! And, thank you Mr. Wakamatsu for sharing your genius.

I am very sorry to learn that Mr. Wakamatsu died on October 17, 2012 after being hit by a car in Tokyo. He was a unique director who will be sorely missed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 2, 2013
Format: DVD
"Caterpillar" (2010 release from Japan; 85 min.) brings the story of a Japanese soldier who, after rampaging in the Sino-Japanese war, returns home severely disabled (he has lost both arms and legs, and is deaf and mute) but with honor. He gets multiple medals and is nicknamed "the War God". It is up to his wife to take care of the War God, and given his condition, that becomes an almost non-stop job. Along the way we see how the War God relearns how to express his feelings and desires. As the movie unfolds, the wife starts to question the supposed honor behind all of this, all for the greater glory oo the Empire and the Emperor.To tell you more of the plot would ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all unfolds.

Several comments: first and foremost, this movie is a blistering indictment against not just the absurdity of war itself, but in particular of the prevailing nationalistic mood that existed in Japan in the 1930-40s. Men are going off to war, to the applause of the entire village, promising "to die for country and the Emperor". Second, this movie contains a lot of graphic scenes, not only of the war, but also of domestic scenes betwee the disabled war veteran and his wife, and it makes for uneasy watching at time (and certainly not for the faint of heart). I couldn't help but think back how differently this movie approches sex for the disables as compared to the recent US release "The Sessions". Last but certainly not least, the acting performances of both leading performers are nothing short of astonishing and sensational.

At the very end of the movie, we hear the Emperor of Japan annouce on the radio that "given the current conditions", he has ordered his government to surrender. I couldn't help but shake my head.
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