The last film I caught at the Dark Bridges Film Festival 2012 was a Japanese film entitled Symbol

Weird: a word that pretty much sums up this film as succinctly as one could.  A Japanese guy wakes up in an all white room with a protuberance sticking out of the wall that looks like cupid’s dick. When he touches it, well that turns out to be pretty much the case, as it ends up actually being a dick, and it's attached to an angel boy.  A whole shit ton of them start popping out of all of the walls and ceiling laughing gaily (trust me that's the right adjective, I mean these are little angel boys we're talking here) only to all recede back into the walls leaving just their dicks sticking out in various places. 

From there, every time the guy pushes one of the dicks, they make a little “ooo” type sound and a trap door opens and some random item falls into the room. Toothrbushes, clay pots, roller boards, sushi, and other random shit. As the movie progresses the guy tries to use these items to find a way to escape the room which results in some bizarre comic panel, narrated interludes with him snapping his fingers all jazz style.

Meanwhile the movie follows an aging Mexican luchador wrestler named Escargot Man as he is taken to the arena for a tag team match.  He gets to the arena and his son and father are in the audience to watch the match, worrying for their father's seemingly unworried and placid attitude in the face of some seriously juiced up opponents. The two plots do not intersect until a truly bizarre moment later on that I will not spoil other than to say snail headbutt, which now that I think about it is a pretty damn funny visual pun, but I'll say no more. 

I am not making any of this up.  I am also going to say that as completely deranged as this sounds, the movie was actually pretty damned entertaining!

Like most strange films this movie could probably be interpreted in a number of ways.  If you read other reviews some people are getting pretty crazy talking about metaphysics and 2001: A Space Odyssey and shit like that, and that could potentially be one interpretation, but this movie succeeds because you can take everything at pretty much surface value and still enjoy the movie, which I did. 

I never once felt like I was wading into some heady philosophical shit while watching the movie, I just sat back and enjoyed the ride.  Unlike some “strange for the sake of being strange” movies this one is actually straight forward, the plot is easy to follow.  You never feel like you don’t know what’s going on; you just may not always be able to understand why it is.

The best way to see this movie is to go in not knowing what’s going to happen, because the surprise at how far out it gets as the movie progresses is most of the enjoyment, so I’m not going to say much more other than that you should check this out if you’re looking for something that is unlike anything you would’ve seen before.  It isn’t often that you can have a movie that can be just as appealing to a slapstick crowd (complete with fart jokes and some Three Stooges style guy getting hurt shit) as an existential, philosophical art film crowd. 

Track this shit down!