Daria Gamliel for Cinetalk.net




But oh, such wonderful nonsense!

Genres clash to form a strangely cohesive bizarro adventure in wacky-town, Wonderful Paradise isn’t for everyone. But those who enjoy a bit (okay, a lot) of ridiculousness thrown into their cinematic experience, director Yamamoto Masashi offers it on a silver platter.

The part musical, part queer murder-romance, part Little Shop of Horrors certainly also has some sketch comedy and Cheech and Chong thrown in because why not? Did we mention kaiju (giant Japanese monsters a la Godzilla, King Kong or Mothra) and a boy who turns into a tree branch?

To describe the plot would not only be difficult, but would do a disservice to the enjoyment of finding out act by act, what the EFF is going on in this film. But in summary, a broody teenager decides to throw a party at the mansion her dad has gambled away and must vacate. Attendees include 2 kids covered in puke, Taiwanese tourists, an interracial gay couple trying to celebrate their marriage, and pot and poppy plant thieves.

With no disrespect to the director, it is plausible that he was high on the aforementioned substances when he made this. The experience of watching Wonderful Paradise might feel like a stoner trip, but it does have a statement to make.

Sort of.

It’s about the family unit. Yamamoto tries to show that there all sorts of families in this world, with all kinds of kooks. In short, this is Fantasia at its craziest best.


Fantasia Film Festival 2020 runs from August 5th to August 25th. 2020.

Wonderful Paradise – On Demand until Friday, August 27th, 11:59 PM.

Official Fantasia Website