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The Warped Forest

Canadian Premiere
  • Japan
  • 2011
  • 81 mins
  • HD
  • Japanese
  • English (subtitles)
Hosted by Director/Co-Writer/Producer Shunichiro Miki and Producer Mayumi Miki
Official Selection, Hawaii International Film Festival 2011
Official Selection, Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival 2012
Official Selection, Freak Me Out Section, Sydney FIlm Festival 2012

“A strong candidate for weirdest movie of the year… one-of-a-kind… compelling in the strangest of ways” — Richard Kuipers, VARIETY

Back to the hot springs in the woods we go, because there’s never enough weirdness in our world! If you were one of the many dazed and delighted by the surrealist gem FUNKY FOREST: THE FIRST CONTACT at Fantasia 2006, you won’t want to miss its sublime sequel. Witness the wonders of time warping and dream tinkering! Giggle at bellybutton sex and pornographic fruit snacks! Squirm when the local baker sneaks out for an illicit encounter with a furry little nipple-sucker! Marvel at the miniature humans co-existing with normal-sized folks, follow the teenage girl armed with a lavishly ornamented penis rifle as she hunts the elusive Pinky-Panky and scratch your head at the inverted alien pyramid hovering ominously over the sleepy resort village where the extraordinary is never out of the ordinary.

Shunichiro Miki, one of the first film’s three directors, flies solo on this one. Fans of FUNKY FOREST will surely recognize his penchant for colourful and uncomfortably erotic objects and devices full of suggestive orifices and protuberances (imagine Cronenberg doing Teletubbies!). This sequel of sorts is perhaps a bit more coherent, if that concept even applies in this case. THE WARPED FOREST follows the quirky quests of three trios (three best buddies, three budding boy-band dancers and three orphaned sisters with a secret in their past) and their various oddball friends and families. Tangling up the mundane — money hassles, boredom, unrequited love, adultery and the quest for happiness — with the stunningly bizarre, Miki weaves assorted threads together into a fantastic, feel-good freak show of the finest sort, with brilliant and bang-on set design and art direction. Like SURVIVE STYLE 5+, TASTE OF TEA, SYMBOL and of course its predecessor, THE WARPED FOREST is an essential work in the new wave of radical, rainbow-coloured, hallucinogenic Japanese comedies that blend deadpan humour, delirious dream logic, creeping paranoia and empathic, easygoing optimism into the strangest of cinematic brews!

— Rupert Bottenberg