Meta Metta Gakido Koza

Director: Mio Ezaki

Special guest review!

By Michael Sullivan

I don’t want to be yet another person who points at Japanese pop-culture and calls it weird. I don’t want to be the one billionth smirking a**hole that misrepresents tentacle porn as some sort of cultural touchstone that all Japanese entertainment aspires to be when in reality it was never anything more than a niche-y cult thing. It’s obvious, tired, condescending and just so unfunny. Additionally, it’s unfair. Of course Japanese pop-culture looks weird to you, you’re not Japanese. You’re seeing a very small, very strange part of a larger, more conservative whole. It would be like basing your opinions on American pop-culture after watching Pink Flamingos and a few episodes of Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job or any of the weirder programs on the Adult Swim line-up. Urotsukidoji, vending machines that dispense used panties and theme restaurants that are some ungodly hybrid of a prison, a hospital and a sex dungeon are the exception, not the rule. Japanese pop-culture isn’t as crazy, koo-koo, weirdo-pants as you white devils think.

However, with all of that said, I kind of wish that all Japanese pop-culture was at least as crazy, koo-koo, weirdo-pants as Meta Metta Gakido Koza.

There’s a little white devil in all of us.

I’m not sure if watching Meta Metta Gakido Koza actually qualifies as Meta Metta Gakido Kozacommitting a sex crime but it must come pretty damn close. In the first ten minutes alone shrieking, goofy pre-teens creepily grope and fondle full grown women or pictures of women, a peeping tom accidentally covers a nude woman with house paint as he creeps and peeps all over the place, a sexy mom is so desperate to use her inflatable Realdoll that she literally kicks her own mother (hard. In the ass.) out of the living room just to get some alone time with her polyurethane companion. It’s all very intense. Watching this movie is like seeing the world through the eyes of a sexual predator. And not a relaxed, confidant sex creep, this is the world as seen by a panicky, frightened pervert as he’s brutally handcuffed by that half-man, half-plant (all cop) monstrosity that used to terrify/amuse the world on NBC’s To Catch a Predator.

Meta Metta Gakido Koza (or as it’s known in English: The Rascal’s Messy Messy Road), takes place in a terrifying version of Japan in which the populace consists solely of feral, priapistic monstrosities who can only communicate by shouting their lungs out or by slashing each other in the head with axes. In this harsh, almost dystopian environment it’s easy to see why children turn out like the sneering nine year old that stars in the film. This unnerving, knee-high creep often comes off as a cross between Bart Simpson and this kid that used to live in my neighborhood who set cats on fire and always smelled like a combination of peanut butter and Vic’s Vapo Rub. He’s violent, gets a nosebleed whenever he’s aroused and has a strong desire to suckle on women’s (and that includes his mother’s) teat.

There is no actual storyline in Meta Metta Gakido Koza. Instead the film is just a series of bizarre vignettes. But that’s understandable considering that Meta Metta Gakido Koza’s source material was a series of gag cartoons that cartoonist Yasuji Tanioka (who also sings the catchy title tune. A title tune that my dear, sweet friend Keith Bailey has noted, unabashedly borrows a guitar riff from Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song) produced for Shonen Champion magazine. Meta Metta Gakido Koza is just a series of events, a collection of disconnected imagery that will make you crap your pants, but in a good way. In Meta Metta Gakido Koza you will see:

  • An extended bit which finds our protagonist searching desperately for a place to pee that doesn’t have a pack of mean girls waiting in anticipation to laugh at the size of his miniscule ding-dong. When his search eventually ends in failure, he decides to hang himself from a Ferris wheel. His suicide plans are quickly foiled by a horny, God-like, five-legged, rooster who chews through the rope and causes the kid to briefly transform into an unconvincing dummy as he falls into a garbage can.
  • A scene in which the kid who is now angry and inexplicably buck-toothed (apparently whenever anyone gets angry in the film they grow enormous buck teeth) breaks into a little girl’s bedroom, beats up her mother and convinces the little girl to join him that evening at a city park. While at the park that evening, he tries to kiss her but he doesn’t know how. A beat cop helpfully demonstrates how by stripping down to his underwear and then kissing the girl on the forehead. Repeatedly. His creepy efforts are rewarded when the kid buries an axe in the back of his head. Also, a Catholic priest is shown skulking around a playground and stealing panties from the lesbian couple who make out on the slide.
  • The kid confronting his philandering father at a go-go bar. For unexplained reasons Dad and son get into a drinking contest. The son wins. As a reward he suckles on the teat of his father’s mistress until it’s reduced to a useless rubbery husk. From there, the mistress gets her revenge by enlisting a goose-stepping girl gang and the kid’s father to run the kid over with a steam roller and eventually bury him alive.

There’s more, much more in fact. There are scenes of a  mother literally smacking the eyes out of her newborn son (actually just a ten year old in a bonnet and an oversized pacifier), elementary school students overpowering their brittle teacher and “comically”  attempting to rape her and an ending that eerily anticipates the climax of Takashi Miike’s Visitor QMeta Metta Gakido Koza is strange because Meta Metta Gakido Koza feels like a film that was originally supposed to be about the tragic childhood of a notorious serial killer. But somehow, due to a bizarre clerical error, the serial killer managed to retain creative control over the production and insisted on writing a nostalgic ode to his troubled boyhood. Basically Meta Metta Gakido is A Christmas Story for people who are currently keeping other people locked in a dog crate in their basement. Yet in spite of the fact that everything in this movie is squirm inducing, it’s also strangely enjoyable because these dark concepts are presented with the cheerful insouciance of The Benny Hill Show. No matter how grotesque the film gets there’s always the sound of a fuzz-tone guitar or a trumpet comically bleating away in the background to remind us that everything isn’t just OK, it’s kind of bouncy. Besides with the exception of Robert Altman’s Popeye it’s the only film to present a fully realized live action representation of a cartoon. However, as fun as the film can be it’s never actually funny. With the exception of the woman who plays the kid’s mother, everybody overacts with the intensity of a 1,000 Nicolas Cages forever screaming “I’m a vampire” at the noon day sun for all eternity. Actually, to be fair, I don’t even think people screeching in each other’s mouths only to pause on occasion to punch each other in the dick actually qualifies as acting. Whatever it is, it’s not really good or funny. Of course my non-amusement could be due to the fact that the print I watched was in Japanese without English subtitles. I could be missing some subtle nuances in the dialogue. But then again most subtle and nuanced films don’t include a shot of a Japanese child accidentally burning his tiny wiener with a magnifying glass.

(Posted October 12, 2014)

Click to check out the first 10 minutes of the movie at YouTube! (Warning: NSFW)

See also: Fantasy Mission Force, Skidoo, Sonny Boy