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Happiness of the Katakuris

40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

fun video..always entertaining

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kenji Sawada, Keiko Matsuzaka, Shinji Takeda, Naomi Nishida, Kiyoshirô Imawano
  • Directors: Takashi Miike
  • Writers: Ai Kennedy, Kikumi Yamagishi
  • Producers: Hirotsugu Yoshida
  • Format: Color, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Eastern Star
  • DVD Release Date: February 25, 2003
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000083C5D
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,874 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Happiness of the Katakuris" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Zack Davisson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 26, 2003
Format: DVD
This movie had me absolutely cracking up. It is an absolutely oddball flick, full of non-sequitor plot points and bizarre musical moments. This was the first (and so far only) Takashi Miike film that I have seen, and it sure makes me want to see more. There is a distinct vision and a high level of creativity on display here.
"The Happiness of the Katakuris" is not a film for anyone with expectations of what a film should be like. It is a remake of the Korean film "Choyonghan kajok," and tells the story of a family who opens a bad-luck inn, where all the guests keep [expiring] through suicide of accident. A black comedy, it might be said to be in the tradition of "Arsenic and Old Lace."
Stylistically, the film follows no conventions, and slips into claymation at whim, musical at whim, and straight drama at whim. The cast is all delightful, and you find yourself rooting for each and everyone of them.
If you are in the mood for something strange and funny, you can't go wrong with "The Happiness of the Katakuris."
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Brent Figiel on February 23, 2003
Format: DVD
There's an interview on the DVD for the Takashi Miike film "Audition" where he says that he has the benefit of not having to work under the microscope. Apparently no one really cares about cinema in Japan so he's free to do as he pleases and make whatever movies he likes without fear. It shows. There's a freedom in the way he directs. Each of his movies feels like it's a form of organized chaos and are shot with a complete abandon of conventions. "Audition" went far beyond any horror movie I've ever seen in terms of not only well-placed gore but psychological horror. "City Of Lost Souls" took the concept of the adrenaline-fueled action movie to it's nihilistic, stylish limits. "Happiness Of The Kataruris," on the other hand, is a feel good black comedy... if that makes any sense. A heart-warming story about a family that sticks together despite themselves, always trying to do their best... despite bad luck, dead bodies, con men, homicidal maniacs, and forces of nature.
It's completely absurdist. It's got slapstick comedy, gross out humor, black comedy, and horror along with uplifting song and dance routines. (There's even a karaoke number!) The special effects are done (probably for budgetary reasons) in claymation. Amazingly, Miike juggles all of the balls fairly seamlessly. Despite the numerous deaths over the course of the movie, I don't think it's possible to finish the movie and not feel good about yourself. The ironic hipster types will feel like it's a musical for people who hate musicals and everyone else will probably just dig it because it's so freakin' funny.
The musical numbers were intentionally performed with very little time for the actors to prepare, which makes it all the more believable.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 24, 2004
Format: DVD
The Happiness of the Katakuris (Takashi Miike, 2001)

To be short, The Happiness of the Katakuris is, quite simply, the most delightfully twisted movie I've seen in quite a while. Based on the hit Korean film The Quiet Family (described by some as "the Korean Addams Family"), The Happiness of the Katakuris comes off, more than anything, as The Sound of Music seen through the eyes of a psychopath who's just smoked rat poison-laced crank after dropping two hits of acid that were originally bought at a Grateful Dead concert in 1982, but were genetically altered by a mad scientist attempting to find a way to turn people into claymation zombies who would stop at nothing to do his bidding.

Yeah, it's that good.

Masao Katakuri (Pistol Opera's Kenji Sawada), sick of his life as a department store shoe salesman, buys an out-of-the-way guest house after being promised by the real estate agent that a major road is being built that will run right by the house. He enlists the help of his whole family in the running of the enterprise. They consist of his wife, Terue (The Ripples' Keiko Mastsuzaka, who looks absolutely stunning for having recently turned fifty); his grandfather, Jinpei (Tetsuro Tanba, whose fifty-year career is rapidly approaching Christopher Lee's in its prolificity); son Masayuki, recently released from prison after being convicted of pickpocketing (Pulse's Shinji Takeda); and daughter Shizue, whose husband left her soon after the birth of their child (Godzilla 2000's Naomi Nishida). No one's altogether happy about this.

Their first guest finally arrives. He checks in for the sole purpose of committing suicide. That's when things really start to get weird. (You'll understand when you see it. And you WILL see it.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Nearly Nubile on July 14, 2003
Format: DVD
A Japanese family starts a guest-house on the top of a hill but it seems to be jinxed -- all the guests who visit them have an unfortunate habit of dying. Dead bodies not being the best thing for business, the family has to come up with a creative way to hide the corposes. They choose to do this while singing along the mountains.
The predicament is funny itself. But the story telling is uniquely impressive as it effortlessly switches between melancholy romance, adventure, horror, mystery, singing, dancing, flying, some interesting claymation with weird creatures, crooks impersonating members of the british royal family, and even a volcano. It's like watching several different threads of the movie simultaneously, but somehow Miike holds it all together.
As typical of Japanese cinema, there's even a very positive moral to the story, making this bewildering mess quite a bit of fun to watch for the entire family. Get your hands on this hilarious film if you can.
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