Screened as part of NZIFF 2011

Cold Fish 2010

Tsumetai nettaigyo

Directed by Sono Sion

A milquetoast fish store owner gets drawn into the orbit of a serial killer and his equally nutty wife. A funny, perverted and shocking film by Sono Sion, the cult master of extreme madness.

Japan In Japanese with English subtitles
144 minutes



Chiba Yoshinori
Kimura Toshiki


Sono Sion
Takahashi Yoshiki


Kimura Shinya


Ito Junichi

Production designer

Matsuzuka Takashi

Costume designer

Araki Satoe


Harada Tomohide


Fukikoshi Mitsuru
Kurosawa Asuka
Kagurazaka Megumi
Kajiwara Hikari
Watanabe Tetsu


Venice, Toronto, Vancouver, Pusan, London 2010


Fans of Sono Sion’s Love Exposure (NZIFF09) won’t need much of a push to see this perverse chunk of black comedy horror. Funny, exhausting, callous and ultimately devastating in its final reel, this is one blood-drenched character study that’s hard to shake. Reportedly based on a true story of a serial killer, Cold Fish sees Shamoto, an awkward milquetoast tropical-fish-store owner befriended by the obnoxious and outgoing Murata, who hides a deeply disturbing persona. Pulled into this awkward friendship are Shamoto’s snooty bride, his rebellious daughter and, finally, Murata’s sexually aggressive wife. When Shamoto witnesses some of Murata and his kooky wife’s sick behaviour, he finds himself trapped in a bloody whirlpool, where his only escape is to finally stand up for himself. — AT

“Couldn’t easily be mistaken for anything other than what it is: another fervid fantasia hatched by cult Japanese helmer Sono Sion.” — Leslie Felperin, Variety