Caterpillar (2011) - Rotten Tomatoes

Caterpillar (2011)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Caterpillar Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Taking place during the Second Sino-Japanese War and based on a banned short story by writer Edogawa Rampo, Wakamatsu's latest film is both a powerful indictment of right-wing militarist-nationalism and a deeply affecting reminder of the pressures put on Japanese women during war and peacetime. Part of a series of works that re-visit the country's fascist past, Caterpillar satirically deploys Japanese propaganda and successfully demystifies the glorification of the country's wartime past. -- (C) Lorbermore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Hisato Kurosawa, Deru Deguchi
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 17, 2012
Box Office: $2.1k
Lorber - Official Site


Shinobu Terajima
as Shigeko Kurokawa
Shima Ohnishi
as Kyuzo Kurokawa
Shima Onishi
as Kyuzo Kurokawa
Ken Yoshizawa
as Kenzo Kurokawa
Keigo Kasuya
as Tadashi Kurokawa
Emi Masuda
as Chiyo Kurokawa
Sabu Kawahara
as The Village Chief
Maki Ishikawa
as The Wife of the Vill...
Daisuke Iijima
as The Headquarters Off...
Maria Abe
as Chinese Woman #1
Mariko Terada
as Chinese Woman #2
Yasuyo Shiba
as Chinese Woman #3
Ryo Mukuta
as Japanese Soldier
as Yayoi
Sanshiro Kobayashi
as Villageman #1
Takaaki Kaneko
as Villageman #2
Go Jibiki
as Military Officer #1
Arata Iura
as Military Officer #2
Ichir˘ Ogura
as Voice on Radio
as Military Officer #2
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Caterpillar

Critic Reviews for Caterpillar

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (5)

The husband may look like a caterpillar, but it's the wife who goes through a transformation.

Full Review… | May 6, 2011
New York Times
Top Critic

"Caterpillar" is difficult to watch. But it's directed, acted and photographed well, and it's worth seeing even if it makes you uncomfortable.

Full Review… | May 6, 2011
New York Post
Top Critic

Blends a B-movie aesthetic, brilliant use of montage and documentary elements and a scathing critique of nationalism and militarism.

Full Review… | May 6, 2011
Top Critic

Might be read as a reaction to hawkish nationalism, but it's more a cry for the unknown soldier in the kitchen and bedroom.

Full Review… | May 3, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

Legendary Japanese softcore auteur K˘ji Wakamatsu channels Samuel Fuller for a twisted domestic-drama-cum-psychosexual-evisceration of Japan's fascist past.

Full Review… | May 3, 2011
Village Voice
Top Critic

This Caterpillar creeps under your skin and stays there.

Full Review… | February 9, 2013
Eye for Film

Audience Reviews for Caterpillar


A village woman is forced to care for her invalid husband when the Emperor declares him a "Living War God" after he loses all four limbs and his ability to talk in the Second Sino-Japanese war. A bizarre premise sparks this intense drama about duty; it's minimally exploitative, but there IS plenty of caterpillar/wife sex.

Greg S

Super Reviewer


The complex relation between a devoted wife and amputee husband is explored to it's most raw levels by Mr Wakamatsu. She is more than just the devoted pasive housewife, and he's more than just another guy who fought in the war. You could accuse Wakamatsu of being too blunt with the anti-nationalistic message, showing the blind loyalty of the towns people over and over, along with the images of the medals, the propaganda in the news about Japan winning the war and so on. The real meat and juice of the story is in the relation between the two main characters, both actors giving fantastic performances, becoming the foundation of the film.

Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

In "Caterpillar," the good news is that Kyuzo(Shima Ohnishi) returns alive from the war and a hero to boot. The bad news is he is not exactly in one piece, with all of his limbs having been amputated and communication with other people at best rudimentary. After his wife Shigeko(Shinobu Terajima) calms down sufficiently enough, she considers putting him out of his misery but then thinks twice about it, settling down into the routine of taking care of him for the long haul which also includes an itch he needs to scratch...

To its credit, "Caterpillar" is not just an empty provocation, as it is very much anti-war, and not just in the ironic way it uses music. The first time we see Kyuzo is when he is raping a Chinese woman which makes him a war criminal more than anything else. That alone questions what the entire Japanese war effort was all about. Or maybe karma can just be incredibly nasty. In any case, all of which is established very early on which leaves the movie, as repetitive as it is and as shoddy as the production is, little room to go anywhere, except to explore the evolving power structure of the couple which has its moments.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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