Visitor Q (Bizita Q) (2001)
Directed by Takashi Miike

Artistic & Entertainment Value
* * * * ½

DVD In Association with
Rent DVDs online!
In the USA:
Try Netflix For Free.In the UK:

After having had sex with his underaged, runaway daughter, an unemployed television reporter brings home a man who has hit him on the head with a rock. There the man almost wordlessly exerts a powerful influence on the reporter, his wife, who prostitutes herself to pay for her drug habit, and their son, who brutally beats his mother and is himself bullied by other boys from his school.

Revelling in its bizarre offensiveness, Takashi Miike's Visitor Q is so wildly lurid that the viewer cannot help but be both fascinated and intoxicated by the experience of watching it. From its opening sequence, in which the reporter pays his daughter to have sex with him and then is teased by her for ejaculating prematurely, to its disturbingly serene conclusion, the film is filled with an almost uninterrupted succession of strange and nasty events, including a sexual assault, multiple murders, comedic necrophilia, and torrential and salvific lactation, which batter the viewer with both their repulsiveness and absurdity.

Like John Waters did in his early films, Miike repeatedly seeks to shock, horrify, and offend with Visitor Q, and he is as successful as was Waters in engendering a sense of repulsion in the viewer. By connecting this reaction with elements suggestive of a critique of conventional morality, Miike extends the purview of the viewer's disgust over that morality and, by doing so, creates a more far ranging, and more profound, sense of revulsion. Although Miike's film is not a didactic attack on conventions of familial morality, his inclusion of such a critique does heighten the feelings of nausea and abhorrence he arouses.

What is more, by shooting the film on video, and thereby giving it the look of a home movie, Miike has infused Visitor Q with a strange sense of realism, which both contrasts with and domesticizes the countless absurd elements he includes. This approach makes it easier for the viewer to connect the horrors being depicted with his awareness of ordinary family life so that he more readily associates the two. Whether this was intentional, or the film's look is simply the result of financial constraints, Visitor Q's realism is effective.

Sadly, the director is not always as attentive to details as he could have been and has thereby decreased the emotive impact he could have aroused in the viewer. The movie's greatest flaw is its omission of a number of details relevant to the narrative. These omitted points are, however, mentioned in the film's trailer so that, when viewed with the trailer, the film becomes more cohesive and more satisfying than it is on its own.

Burdened as it is with serious faults, Visitor Q is not a masterpiece, but it is so strange and disturbing that it does come tantalizingly close to such greatness.

Review by Keith Allen

Home Page / Alphabetical List of Films
List of Films by Star Ratings
Aesthetic Principles / Guide to Ratings
Criteria for Inclusion / DVD Stores / Blog

© 2004 Keith Allen. All rights reserved.
Revised 2005

Click Here

banner 2