KUSO (2017) Reviews and overview


‘We survived!’

Kuso is a 2017 American body horror black comedy film directed by Flying Lotus [Steven Ellison] from a screenplay co-written with David Firth and Zack Fox.

The film premiered at Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2017. It was reported that many people left during the screening, with Flying Lotus later stating that “only like 20 people out of like 400” walked out. Kuso will be released on streaming platform Shudder on July 21, alongside a limited theatrical release

” …there’s a feeling that this film is a kind of psychic scream, similar to those that feature in the Japanese animation Ellison is clearly fond of […] Kuso is in part a gross-out comedy but it is also full of truly artistic and psychedelic visuals that hint at meaning beyond the degeneracy.” Luke Shaw, Eye for Film

“That Ellison has a unique, genre-defying musical sensibility is amply demonstrated by the film’s soundtrack (for which Aphex Twin and Akira Yamaoka also created original tracks), by far its best element. Neither is there much cause to quibble in terms of the acting, design, or technical contributors, in that they did as instructed with what professional aplomb could be mustered — good efforts expended to an unfortunate end.” Dennis Harvey, Variety

“As a cringe-inducing work of art that piles on the shock value over and over again, Kuso does its job. While John Waters may have gone soft in his old age, Ellison has elevated the gross-out bar, veering into — and going far beyond — the obscene. For someone who sees a few hundred films a year, Kuso is a stand-out.” John Fink, The Film Stage

Kuso is a hallucinatory, scatological, grotesque, and occasionally hysterical work of utter mania, the kind of wild cinema that cuts through the noise of all safer, more marketable filmmaking. It will more than likely repel as many viewers as it attracts, if not far more of them, but those willing to let Ellison walk them through his 93-minute nightmare will find something challenging, revolting, and eminently watchable. It’s a horrorshow from which it’s impossible to look away.” Dominick Suzanne-Mayer, Consequence of Sound

“I don’t believe so many talented artists, musicians, set designers, and comedians would make this film if they didn’t want it to say something. But the copious gore, the cruel extended rape joke, the abortion sight-gags, and any number of other vomit-inducing pseudo-goofs are so distracting and disorienting that making sense of the film would require a repeat viewing.” Chris Plante, The Verge

Kuso is already earning a reputation as the grossest movie ever made. It’s definitely a worthy contender, giving Freddy Got Fingered and any of The Human Centipede movies a run for their money. Unlike those films, Kuso can’t even be described as a gross out comedy or torture p*rn. It belongs in a genre that can’t be classified and shouldn’t be classified. Every image is vile, every character is ugly, every moment that goes by is an assault on all five senses.” Nick Spake, flickreel

Cast and characters:

  • Iesha Coston
  • Zack Fox as Manuel
  • Bethany Schmitt as The Buttress
  • Shane Carpenter as Charlie
  • Oumi Zumi
  • Mali Matsuda as Angel
  • Tim Heidecker as Phil
  • Hannibal Buress
  • Donnell Rawlings
  • Anders Holm as Teacher
  • Regan Farquhar as News Pirate
  • David Firth as Royal
  • George Clinton as Doctor Clinton

Wikipedia | IMDb

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