Directed by Minoru Kawasaki
Written by Masakazu Migita & Minoru Kawasaki
Starring Lee Ho, Eiichi Kikuchi, Arthur Kuroda, & Hironobu Nomura
Is EXECUTIVE KOALA as goofy as it sounds? Yes. It’s a story of a man-sized koala trying to succeed in life. Though not necessarily a horror film, it does possess elements of fear and terror, as well as moments of over the top cuteness. It’s such a weird little film that when I decided to put together this bear themed column, it immediately came to mind.
EXECUTIVE KOALA is one of those movies that is to be watched for dumb fun. Played straight, as if a man with a stuffed koala bear head and paws wearing a suit was absolutely normal, the film is absolutely hilarious and full of Japanese quirk such as a courtroom musical number, animated opening segments, and trippy kung fu demonstrations.
Our koala businessman Temura is interested in two things; his girlfriend and selling pickles. When his girlfriend shows up dead, he believes he is to blame even though he can’t remember. And his murderous ways are making his work intolerable. Though the mystery is paper thin, that’s really not the point of EXECUTIVE KOALA. The film is just a lot of brainless fun.
The inspired animated and musical moments, coupled with the hilariously maudlin interactions Temura has with those around him make the film something pretty special. Though it involves betrayal and murder, EXECUTIVE KOALA is pretty bloodless. Although some might think it’s out of place here in this column focused on horror, it is one of those weird curious films that strays from the norm. EXECUTIVE KOALA won’t be winning any academy awards, but it is goofy and something I honestly say I haven’t seen before.