Kuso [2017] is the directorial debut of experimental multi-genre music producer/musician/DJ/rapper Flying Lotus aka FlyLo, Steven Ellison, or Steve. It was written alongside David Firth, a unique mind behind such twisted animations as the popular web series Salad Fingers. The film stars colorful fuzzy transdimensional beings, an animated trumpet-playing cockroach, and among many other things real human actors who were obviously very bold and very game to participate in some very disgusting shit.

Yo Ass Ugly. Everything about this film is gross. Every image, every sound, every makeup or design choice is made to disgust. Every character has boils and sores on their face. Semen and feces are smeared across the screen in uncompromising HD. Things get squished, smacked, whacked, split, squirt, squeezed, blown, ripped, and guzzled. And by things I mean…well you don’t want to know what I mean. The film does everything it can to show things in the most revolting way possible. Nothing is clean and precise here, and that’s the point.

A Perpetual State of WTF!? The film ultimately jumps between a few characters and supposedly tells the story of these individuals facing their darkest fears. It’s all wrapped up in the idea that an earthquake has caused bizarre things to occur. What’s actually presented is a quasi-episodic clusterfuck of absurdity. These stories are split by transitional breaks filled with strange (albeit impressive) paper cut-out type animation segments born from the nightmares and fetishes of serial killers. Some extended CG sequences throw the audience into an acid trip from the perspective of a sick man who’s terrified of breasts. I’m not sure if I could begin to explain what is seen, besides an immeasurable amount of breasts both attached and detached from crude and obscure figures licking and dancing and bouncing and…I think that’s enough.

Covering All The Bases. What’s presented is something that is supposed to be a mix between a horror film, slapstick comedy, possibly musical/music video, and who knows what else. The checklist of topics seen, performed, referenced, talked about, or even joked about contain the following and more: rape, abortion, anal cockroaches, toxic shock syndrome, erotic asphyxiation, murder, “fear of tits”, eating babies, an anthropomorphized boil giving a blowjob, and an aborted fetus being smoked like a weed pipe. I have never squinted my face in disgust so much during a film, never so quickly regretted sitting down to watch something, never been so confused and so disturbed by something so preposterous in my entire life.

Some Kind of Art. All that being said, there’s obviously a lot of hard work put into this production. The makeup, puppetry, music, and animation are all quality. There’s clearly an idea that’s been fully realized and put to film without any interference. It’s admirable to see an artist complete something so unique that they’re incredibly passionate about. It’s just that the something is really, truly, messed up. The film feels like something Adult Swim would put on if they were no longer interested in entertaining but simply causing as much harm and psychological damage as possible. It’s a film that David Lynch would be proud of if he was into penises being stabbed and/or roasted chickens giving some kind of birth in a riverbed that causes an onlooker to pop an instant erection. The news of this film being largely walked out on is unquestionable, and you’ll know if you need to do the same within the first 7 minutes (I’ll admit I was doing all I could not to gag). This is the epitome of something destined to become a cult classic and sure to be labeled and talked about as one of the grossest films of all time (and is in fact already being done so).

Every single aspect of this film is meant to be ugly and disgusting.
It is an ugly and disgusting film. Watch at your own risk.

Kuso is available to watch on Shudder from July 21st. 

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