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Caterpillar (2010)

Shinobu Terajima , Keigo Kasuya , Koji Wakamatsu  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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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.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Lorber Films
  • DVD Release Date: January 17, 2012
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0063E00FC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,363 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Review

A masterpiece. --The Hollywood Reporter

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).

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
(39)
3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Banzai to the War God 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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The God of Soldiers 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant critique of militarism March 19, 2013
Format:DVD
Great film that delivers a devastating critique of militarism and devoted loyalty to monarchy and country, universal themes that are as timely as ever.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A disturbing movie that one must see
An unusual and disturbing movie that one must see. Well done with quality acting, and a message which (like the summary suggests) is an idictment of the old WWII Japan. Read more
Published 6 days ago by listen440hz
4.0 out of 5 stars A great art movie about the classis issues of disables veterans and...
An art movie that addresses the timeless difficulties of wounded & disabled veterans. I also address the difficulties and haunting memories of ones sins of the past.
Published 26 days ago by GROVER C RANDLE JR
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie!
I normally dislike trashy sex movies, but this one was so different and actually had a plot! The flashbacks and the guilt the husband couldn't express verbally was tormenting to... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lilly
3.0 out of 5 stars The truth about war.....
Not a feel good movie, but that's the point. Shows all the nationalistic pride of a people who go to war as good citizens, juxtaposed to the personal devastation that war brings... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lolly Gahg
1.0 out of 5 stars Compares/responds to TheSunAlsoRises and TheBarefootContessa
Well, I had my doubts that it could be well-meant when the film opens with rapes of Chinese women by Japanese trespassers. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dwight
4.0 out of 5 stars Weird. But I liked it
Interesting movie. Sad at the same time...it was also one of those films when you're done watching it you just say wtf
Published 1 month ago by tfunk87
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
When scanning through movies that were available, my husband saw this movie and said this was one for me. It was good. I found it rather interesting. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Brenda Harding
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected
I don't know much about the director nor Japanese culture and i was hoping to get a bit of more insight into both, especially for the Japanese society near the end of WWII. Read more
Published 2 months ago by F. Sassi
3.0 out of 5 stars Submission
Quite interesting study of the subjugated woman and the consequences upon her.Some parts of the movie were difficult to watch.
Published 2 months ago by Bonnie E. Rogers
3.0 out of 5 stars Complex and Strange
This is a strange and thought provoking movie. It could be a treatise on the horrors of war or it could be a horror story. Read more
Published 2 months ago by kim b
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