Funky Forest : The First Contact

Yesterday, I posted a movie trailer for a film entitled - Funky Forest : The First Contact. Below, I'm posting the - for lack of a better term - synopsis. Tonight, I got to see it. It was

amazing.

Enjoy the synopsis - please go and see ASAP.

Movie Review : This is one of those movies where words really can’t do the movie justice. Katsuhito Ishii, along with two of his pals, takes elements from his previous films (Sharkskin Man and Peach Hip Girl, Party 7, A Taste of Tea) to create an utterly surreal omnibus that ranges from the utterly bizarre to the unbelievably funny. Some of the more bizarre characters you will encounter in Funky Forest are Alien Piko-Riko, Bloodsuckers, and Pero the dog director. The movie’s narration is as unorthodox as these characters. The film is split into an A-Side and B-Side and includes a 3 minute intermission during the half way point in the film. Also, the film is told through non-linear sketches that contains recurring characters and themes. The main recurring characters would be :

The Mole Brothers : Futuristic / Alien comedy brothers.

The Unpopular With Women Brothers : The Guitar Brother tries to learn to play the guitar to pick up chicks, while his older brother, Tanaka, tries to learn a Kabuki dance to pick up chicks. They also have a younger brother, who is Caucasian and loves Snicker candy bars.

Notti & Takefumi : Takefumi is a bookish high school teacher, that loves to DJ and has a crush on his student Notti. Notti is a dreamy high school student, that enjoys the company of Takefumi, but hasn’t physiologically encountered love.

The Hot Spring Vixen Babes : Two sales lady and their friend Nico. Nico happens to be friends with Takefumi and has revealed to her friends that Takefumi has 2 uvula’s and has claimed to have seen Alien Piko-Riko.

With these characters you have Funky Forest: The First Contact. A true mind f*ck of a movie, that has just so many layers of impressive things occurring in the film. Beyond the wacky visuals and storyline, you have a cast that is as recognizable as it is enjoyable. You will notice that quite a few characters from A Taste Of Tea are cast in a Funky Forest. Some of the more notable ones would be : Maya Banno, who played Little Hataru (she played the young girl in A Taste Of Tea that saw a bigger than life version of herself in the sky), Tabanobu Asano played the Guitar Brother (he played the Uncle in A Taste Of Tea), and Takahiro Sato who played a student in the “Homeroom” segments (played the son in A Taste Of Tea). Also the freakish blond haired dancer from A Taste Of Tea makes a recurring dance performance in Funky Forest. There is also that weird Cartoon Artist that appeared in A Taste Of Tea. On top of these actors, I did spot some other well known faces, like Chizuru Ikewaki who played one of the Hot Spring Vixen Babes. She was amazing in Josee, The Tiger and The Fish (as the insular handicapped girl) and in Funky Forest she gets to cut loose as a talkative and always in control young lady. Also, I did spot one of the girls from Swing Girls appearing briefly in Notti’s dream sequence.

Although I won’t attempt to quantify what exactly the movie is about, there definitely is a plot in Funky Forest. That plot just so happens to be cut up in a non-linear fashion like William Burroughs’s Naked Lunch. But, don’t let that scare you away. The sketches in Funky Forest are just so funny or just so weird that you wont really have time to worry about the story (the Hot Spring Vixen Babes in particular had me cracking up!). One criticism with the film would be with the film’s long run time. As with A Taste Of Tea, I did feel that Funky Forest would have made an even bigger impact if it was condensed in length. In particular ,the last 1/3 of this film seemed to lack the humor and excitement that the rest of the film contained.

Besides the criticism about length of the film, I don’t have a single negative word to say about this wonderfully flaky film. Funky Forest : The First Contact is just a pure blast to see and experience. Check this one out at the first opportunity! Funky Forest: The First Contact is one of the most unique and original films I have seen to date.