Executive Koala (2005)

Director: Minoru Kawasaki
Starring: Lee Ho, Eiichi Kikuchi, Arthur Kuroda, Hironobu Nomura, Hideki Saijo

Tagline: For fans of Kawasaki only


A hard working salary-man Koara Kacho is well respected by his co-workers despite the fact he is a koala. Everything changes when the cops turn up at his work one day to tell him his wife has been murdered.

When they fail to get any results on questioning him, they let him go. One of the detectives isn’t convinced however and continues to tail him. Upon enquiring with Kacho’s psychologist, he gets turned down however.

Finding his co-workers reading a story about him in the newspaper, Kacho seeks the advice of his rabbit CEO boss who gets him to take care of some international business partners for a few days. Everything seems to be going fine until Kacho’s eyes start glowing and he attacks one of the guests. Things work out for the best, but the incident is unsettling, especially since one of guests tells Kacho that his last girlfriend left him as he used to beat her.

Kacho starts having strange dreams where he kills people and at one point, thinks he is in a movie. Rushing to his psychologist, he finds his boss and they both think he needs help and try to drug him. Cue dream sequences where people from his past tell of all his bad deeds via a musical number. Waking up he finds the psychologist and his boss on the floor and the detective has him.

He ends up in prison, but at this point the movie is flipping between fantasy and reality so often it is difficult to know what is going on. At one point I swear I saw an image of koala genocide and a koala being crucified. There are some good fight scenes at least.

I am a big fan of Kawasaki’s work and enjoyed Calamari Wrestler and the World Except Japan Sinks. I did think I would be able to follow the story despite not having subtitles, but it was just too difficult for me. The costumes are great though and the actors are not bursting out laughing from trying to act opposite them at least. The other characters of the rabbit CEO and frog convenience store worker are also well done.

I did like the horror scenes as they are a piss take on the genre with Kacho sliding past the camera and disappearing from shots at will. The music is also very spooky and suits the action. The axe and chasing women wearing nothing but a towel is pure horror trash.

From watching the making-documentary on the second disk, the crew seem to have had a lot of fun in the production, even if there are scenes with the actor playing Kacho fanning himself down between takes.

Hopefully this movie will turn up at a festival in the future with subtitles so more people can enjoy it. It has already received some media coverage due to the subject matter and could get a lot more.

Rating: 6/10

Bonus Scenes:

In the office Grief
Dancing koala Froggy!
Axe attack Aiieee!
Cut! Musical
Boom! Koalas on the run
Death WTF!

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