ASIAN VALUES VCD REVIEW
Suo's Abnormal Family opens with with the elderly father, son
and daughter all staring at the ceiling in high anticipation.
In what could be described as the family's highlight of the evening,
for the three, what follows is the sound of love making between
elder son Koichi (Shiro Shimomoto) and his new bride, Yuriko (Kaoru
Kaze). For viewers, this is the beginning of the various sex scenes
in the movie.
By now, most
Japan movie fans, especially those into the Pinku Eiga
(Pink Films) sex genre, know that Abnormal Family is a spoof of
Ozu's films. Yasujiro Ozu, who died in 1963, is a prominent director
of Japanese movies, noted for his themes of family and marriage;
use of static shots and his knee-high "tatami" cinematography.
Suo became an award-winning director with Sumo Do, Sumo Don't
(1992) and Shall We Dance? (1996), his first movie, Abnormal Family
(1983), practically turned Ozu's Tokyo Story (1953) inside out.
Retaining Ozu's family unit, in this case an ageing father, two
younger siblings and a married son and his wife, Suo sets up a
situation where outwardly the family unit looks like it could
have come from an Ozu movie (right down to cinematic style and
head-bowing neighbours), inwardly this is the form of familial
disintegration that Ozu himself might have feared.
Instead of a traditional family coming under economic stress,
here the aged father, Shukichi (Ren Osugi), refuses to accept
the death of his wife and comments that every woman he meets looks
like his dead wife. And after each evening's "entertainment,"
he withdraws to a bar and gets drunk.
son Koichi does not spend time with the whole family, at least
he has an active sex life. He is penetrating Yuriko every which
way that it looks as if he hardly lets his wife get any sleep
at night. As a newcomer to the family, Yuriko is deferential to
her father-in-law and subservient to her husband, even when he
is into S&M and attempts to tie her up. It is not known if
Yuriko is into S&M but her one forceful display of her passion
comes when she sees the S&M scars on Koichi's back.
visited the bar his father frequents and had hooked up with bartender
Usagi Aso who is heavily into S&M. The two make such a delightful
couple (she urinates on him and he gets high) that Koichi decides
to move in with her.
younger sister, Akiko (Miki Yamaji), works as the Office Lady,
and at first, viewers might have expected the dowdy-looking Akiko
to have some hidden strengths. Hearing what her sister-in-law
goes through in the evenings and deciding that she would rather
be free, she comments that a woman has nothing to look forward
to after getting married. However, she gives up her job and works
in a sex sauna. As such things are wont to turn out, her first
client is her brother Koichi!
younger brother, student Kazuo (Kei Shuto), might just be a little
bit horny - he keeps staring at sister Akiko's white panties when
her dress happens to be hitched a little too high. Trying to prevent
Kazuo from getting into sexual problems like indulging in pornography,
or worse, visiting prostitutes, Yuriko decides, just once, to
give Kazuo the works. So it does pay to have a real understanding
on the loneliness in a marriage, which is very real in her case,
Yuriko comes across a piece of rope that Koichi had used to bind
her. She then uses the rope to masturbate herself. Meanwhile,
dotty father-in-law comments to dead wife what a fine daughter-in-law
At less than
an hour, Suo's Abnormal Family is a real tour de farce. The only
weak point is Ren Osugi, who looks a little too young to be the
somnambulistic aged father. A much older actor would have given
the role more gravitas. Still, as one reviewer says, things never
The Abnormal Family VCD (Unlimited Film Sensation) is banned in