|Courtesy of Drafthouse Films|
2014, 99 minutes
Review by Joshua Handler
A symphony of weird, nauseating, and outrageous scenes, R100 is in a league of its own. The film tells the story of an everyday man, Takafumi Katayama, who decides to give his boring life a jolt by signing up for an S&M service that sends out dominatrices to beat up their clients at unknown times throughout the day. The clients can't cancel the service until the year is up. As the service gets crazier and crazier, it becomes increasingly dangerous for Katayama and it begins to impact his personal life.
No one can fault writer/director Hitoshi Matsumoto (Big Man Japan) for not going far enough. While the deadpan delivery of some of the humor doesn't always work, Matsumoto keeps things moving at a nice pace and consistently throws in scenes that top each other for their bizarre content. For example, one of the dominatrices who specializes in spitting begins to spit cocktails at the tied-up Katayama and that scene is followed by a car chase. Matsumoto keeps upping the ante.
Matsumoto's nonchalant treatment of the situations depicted in the film makes for killer fun and his outrageous choice of music makes many scenes even more hilariously entertaining. Matsumoto lets his imagination run wild throughout the course of the film, but still manages to keep it self-aware. There are scenes interspersed throughout the film in which film censors comment on how tasteless and outrageous the movie is. The film's title, R100, is a spin off of R-21, the highest film rating in Japan. To have a film be called R100, it can be assumed that the film is something crazy. While not quite an "R100" level of nuttiness, R100 is certainly something twisted and racy.
Overall, R100 should please genre film lovers and adventurous moviegoers. This film has such a distinctly odd sense of humor and more WTF moments than just about any movie I've seen in the past few months. While not quite as horrifyingly insane as it thinks it is, R100 is certainly a great time at the movies. It takes a certain kind of twisted genius to make something this tasteless so hilarious, but Matsumoto has that genius and has made a wholly original film that had me laughing out loud.