This is a goofy, goofy movie, Calamari Wrestler, is tons of fun. A champion wrestler after nearly dying goes to a monastary to recover & undergo special training which turns him into a healthy land-walking squid.
When he sets out to continue his wrestling career, his ex-girlfriend recognizes the squid's wrestling style, realizes the tentacled critter used to be her boyfriend Kogi Taguchi. She wants to get back together with him even if he is a squid. But if the squid-wrestler loses his focus on his sport, he will turn back into the dying man he was before his training.
The squid is undefeatable in the ring. His lifelong rival is sought out by the strange monk wrestling trainer, who takes the rival into retreat. He makes his comeback as a red octopus. Soon the two inordantly large molluscs are a national craze.
It may sound entirely absurdist or even just stupid, but it's played on the razor's edge between comedy & conviction. "Real" ready-to-rumble wrestling is hardly less absurd, so the comic-fantasy premise comes off as believable as any other wrestling fantasy acted out on prime time television.
The "monster" suits are hilarious & intentionally spoof Japanese rubber-suit monster flicks, yet as characters the calimary wrestler & kid octopus retain enough personality to be likeable.
Independent film director Minoru Kawasaki has been widely quoted boasting that he's the new "Edward D. Wood Jr. -- but with talent." The screams of joy & standing ovations this film has gotten at film festivals have been well deserved. The thrill of the thing is no doubt greatest when it is shared with a happily excited theater audience. But we watched it at home on dvd, & got a great deal joy from it just the two of us.
copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl