Friday, June 11, 2010
Ryan Watches A Motion Picture #35: The Calamari Wrestler (2004)
Do you like seafood? You might not. But I bet you would give seafood a second chance were you watching different sea creatures fighting each other for glory and supremacy. Let's give this some dignity: fighting each other in a wrestling ring.
Calamari Wrestler is pretty much what it sounds like, and I'm fairly glad for it. It might be described as some weird and forbidden love-child between Mexico and Japan – that is to say, Mexican wrestling culture with its Santo films and the large monsters of Japanese kaiju cinema. It ends up being a strange, sappy, and hilarious mixture.
So just when the public is losing interest in the Japanese wrestling circuit, a brave challenger comes. A saviour. No mere human wrestler, but a fucking man-sized blue squid. This squid goes on to capture the public imagination and inspire all of Japan with its show of courage and determination. He rises in wrestling stardom, dominating his opponents until some strange new challenger appears – holy moly! A boxing-glove wearing shrimp with super speed! As if that onslaught weren't enough, an even more pressing antagonist emerges from the dark recesses of the world's oceans: a big red octopus. The Calamari Wrestler must overcome these great foes, find love, and reconcile his mysterious and turbulent past.
So: This could only have come from Japan. Watch with friends and sushi.