Last year the Sound On Sight staff raved about Sion Sono’s four hour epic Love Exposure placing it on our top 10 films of the year and listing it one of the best films of the previous decade. Although he has made nearly twenty films in the last thirty years, his work remains relatively unknown outside of fanboy and J-Horror circles, where films like Suicide Club and Love Exposure have gained cult status. His latest feature is a true crime portrait of a Japanese tropical fish dealer responsible for over forty murders.
Quiet and meek, Shamoto (Mitsuru Fukikoshi) has been beaten into submission by the mundane demands of everyday life. He’s in an awkward relationship with his beautiful but shy second wife, who still hasn’t been accepted by his rebellious teenaged daughter, Mitsuko. Shamoto’s one remaining joy is running a small tropical fish store.
When Mitsuko is caught shoplifting, the friendly Murata (Denden) helps her distraught parents by settling things with the store’s manager. Murata, who owns a tropical fish store called Amazon Gold, immediately forms a bond with fellow fish connoisseur Shamoto and offers to help his wayward daughter, giving her a job that comes conveniently with room and board. The conflict between Mitsuko and her stepmom appears to be finally solved.
Shamoto is drawn into business with the outgoing Murata, unaware that behind his friendly demeanor lurks a dangerous sociopath. Murata and his wife have a history of fraud and murder, disposing of their prey in an elaborate, ritualistic and grisly manner. Taken in by Murata’s easygoing charm, Shamoto realizes the man’s true nature too late and becomes implicated in the madman’s bloody crimes.