Remember the J-horror trend of the early 2000s? You know, the one that brought us all those movies with ominous sounding single-word titles like the Ring, Pulse and The Grudge? Yeah, you've got Sion Sono to thank for a lot of that.

2002's twisted, darkly comic Suicide Club (released in Japan as Suicide Circle), about a group of school girls who commit suicide en masse and spark a city-wide trend, helped pave the way for a certain kind of Japanese-export horror that went on to dominate box offices for the better part of a decade.

Tomorrow night, Cinefamily will screen Sono's latest, Cold Fish, at the Silent Movie Theater at 10:00. (Check out Mark Olsen's review in this week's issue of the LA Weekly.) Don't be fooled by the pulsating drumbeat and jagged font of the title sequence: these opening scenes might be cut together like a campy '90s-era music video, but Sono is about to take you into some very dark places.

This is a film for serious horror fans only, and genre dilettantes and the merely curious aren't likely to make it to the end. If you're still on the fence about whether or not to buy tickets, here are some reasons why you might:

5. Violence So Extreme It Should Probably Be Illegal

See: Actress Asuka Kurosawa taking a break from carving up the mutilated corpse of her husband's latest victim to invite a new friend to join in the fun.

4. It's Under Four Hours Long

The director's last film, Love Exposure, an insane love story about lust, religion and up-skirt video, had a run time of 237 minutes. At just under two and a half hours, Cold Fish offers all the bragging rights in half the time.

3. Something For Everyone:

Four words: Lesbian Finger Puppet Fetish.

2. All the unambiguous misogyny of films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre without the annoying intellectual elitism.

Tobe Hooper claims Texas Chainsaw Massacre was an allegory for the frustration of the lower classes, trapped in a cycle of endless poverty in 1970's America. Lars Von Trier's Antichrist is an obvious metaphor for the dissolution of a marriage after tragedy. As far as I can tell, Cold Fish, doesn't stand for anything except naked women and endless waves of gore.

1. Boobs.

Rabidly gratuitous. On display in some form or another in practically every other scene. An intrepid editor with extra time on his hands could easily cut together a feature starring the mammary glands of each of this film's female leads.

If, after reading this list, you're already halfway through an enraged email directed at Sion Sono's publicist, it's likely you're not exactly Cold Fish's target audience. For everyone else, check Cinefamily's website for ticket sales and showtimes.

Cold Fish screens Saturday and Sunday at the Silent Movie Theater.

Follow @LAWeeklyArts on


Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.