Kuso is a series of shorts interconnected through a devastating earthquake. This is the synopsis for the anthology that is otherwise insane. Literally insane. Through disgusting and disturbing visuals, grotesque and vague stories are woven in such a way that is difficult to bear. Be warned.
I don't really know how to review Kuso, to be honest. I believe it was successful in what it set out to do, but I'm not entirely convinced of what exactly that goal was. The film's anthology structure may be the only thing you could call "structure" in the film, as much of the plots and dialogue are virtually impossible to comprehend. There is definitely commentary on sexism and racism present, but what that message is...isn't clear to me.
Saturated throughout the tales are elements of disgusting gore and revolting purulence that triggers that queasy feeling in your gut for even the most desensitized of horror fans. It really feels like one of the objectives of the film is a game which has one simple rule: make it through the runtime without throwing up. I made it, but barely. Nearly every single one of these stories out-plays the Squirm Shorts from Telluride Horror Show...and one of those shorts had an exploding penis!
So, to say I "enjoyed" Kuso would be a stretch, but I'd say I sooner respect it for its unrelenting and courageous material. I will admit, it made me laugh a few times. No matter how gross it was, the seemingly improvised dialogue could make the most disgusting of moments feel like a rated-R version of Nickelodeon back when the green slime was a prominent prop.
I won't recommend it. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. But just like "Two Girls, One Cup", the mere fact you read this review will give you the morbid curiosity to track it down and try it. Go ahead. You'll feel like you completed some horror challenge by the time you're done. I've heard of people walking out of screenings of movies in the past, but this is the first one that makes absolute sense to me. I totally understand walking out. There's no proper explanation that can prepare you for the nastiness of this film. And if you make it through and didn't have to wince once, I honor you.
I don't usually directly call out the rating system below, but I think it's worth it this time...The film is getting a high rating on Horror Qualifier and Horror Quality, but this is based solely on the disturbing nature of the visuals, not any level of actual fear. It's more like sketch comedy you'd see a Cenobite from Hellraiser try to make...? That might be the most brilliant or stupid analogy I've ever used...I'm not sure which.
Horror Qualifier: 8/10
Horror Quality: 8/10
Film Quality: 4/10