Cold Fish


Cold Fish (2011)



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From Sion Sono, the director of Love Exposure and Suicide Club. Cold Fish has won acclaim at both the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals. In the film, mild-mannered Shamoto's teenage daughter gets caught shoplifting. A generous fellow fish-store owner and his wife appear to help resolve the situation by having her work at their fish store. Too good to be true? You bet! Shamoto soon discovers the horrific truth about this seemingly perfect couple...who inextricably weave him into their grisly rituals. Inspired by true events, Cold Fish is a twisted, brutal, blood-soaked drama that reveals the underlying insanity of an ordinary man pushed well beyond the brink. -- (C) Bloody Disgusting

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Critic Reviews for Cold Fish

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (4)

A deliciously warped wallow in misogyny, depravity and dead-eyed manipulation, "Cold Fish" charts the twisted alliance of two tropical-fish salesmen with baleful glee.

Aug 4, 2011 | Rating: 4/5

Cold Fish is wild, head-turning, stomach-churning stuff, and it makes a bracing addition to the overstuffed canon of serial-killer cinema.

Aug 2, 2011 | Full Review…

Overlong, drenched in blood and rather like attending a school for apprentice butchers.

Apr 10, 2011 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The grisly, absurd violence of the final hour puts a wrecking ball through whatever interest this film might have accumulated.

Apr 7, 2011 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

A thoroughly boring and unimaginative viewing experience.

Nov 7, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Smart, devious, audacious filmmaking from a man who's quickly becoming a master at this sort of stuff.

Aug 23, 2015 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Cold Fish

Twisted Japanese gore feat with a dysfunctional family. The Japanese do this stuff so well.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

Cold Fish is a dank, dark and highly unlikable film...that I just so happened to really like. It sees a meek and feeble fish store owner, Syamoto, come into contact with a much more confident fish store owner, who gives his troublesome daughter a job. But things aren't as they seem once Syamoto is dragged through a world of sex, murder, disembowelment, business and crime. Syamoto is pushed to the very edge of his humanity by a group of depraved and sickening characters. Fortunately it's helmed by Shion Sono, one of the greatest handlers of dark material. He knows when to make us gag and when to make us laugh. We feel at ease with the material because it is so outside of our protected worlds (hopefully). The pace builds fantastically, from a slow beginning, as we are gradually pulled in to this grim reality, which is based on a true story. It looks at the role of men and women in society, and how the inability to handle emotions can spiral out of control. One of the most pleasant unpleasant watches of recent years.

Luke Baldock
Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer


After an excellent start, the movie failed to work for me as it went ahead. It just kept on getting worse. It's indeed an engaging thriller (based on real events) till it transforms into some sort of soft porno. The story didn't require this extent of graphic scenes, but that's my opinion (which highly matters, if not hardly). Besides, the time-stamp failed to work as a smart distraction. The twists are too predictable to be shocking; in fact, the effectiveness is negative. All that said, Denden's performance is incredibly superb. He holds it up amazingly even as the script falls apart. Won't be unfair to say that it's a terrific flick that goes terrible as it unfolds. Of course, just my opinion. Feel free to differ.

familiar stranger
familiar stranger

Super Reviewer


A chance encounter between two fish store owners pushes a meek, emasculated man to the edge and beyond, in this twisted, horrific tale. Cold Fish is one of the most brutal, bloody, and deranged serial killer flicks I've ever seen. Seriously, this is one of those "you have to see it to believe it" movies that's almost impossible to write a review for, because, well, what do you compare it to? Cold Fish is mean-spirited, misogynistic, bleak, and quite the experience. I don't know if I "recommend" it, you could easily despise this, but I definitely want you try it out if you're brave enough.

Lewis C.
Lewis C.

Super Reviewer

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