No one does taboo-smashing, boundary-stretching outrageousness quite like Takashi Miike, and Visitor Q is the scandalous pinnacle of his extreme cinema canon. A family of degenerates is falling apart: TV reporter Kiyoshi (Kenichi Endo), interested in filming his whore daughter for a news program, has sex with her instead; his son Takuya (Jun Mutô), tormented by bullies at school, takes his frustration out on his mother by beating her with switches; and his wife Keiko (Shungiku Uchida), scarred by her son’s blows, prostitutes herself for money to buy heroin. Into this dysfunctional clan appears Visitor Q, a mysterious guest who – through violent blows to the head, sexual favors and documentary videotaping – acts as both a voyeuristic witness to, and catalyst for, the family’s transformation into a well-adjusted (if nonetheless perverted and homicidal) unit. Miike’s film – a loose remake of Pasolini’s Teorema that also exudes the zaniness of Francois Ozon’s Sitcom – is a cornucopia of shocking sights, from Keiko’s kitchen floor-soaking lactation (a miraculous symbol of her rediscovered maternal instincts) to Kiyoshi’s necrophilic nookie with the cadaver of his colleague and former mistress (“Come on, let’s do it. I don’t care if you’re a corpse!” he pronounces before acting on his unsavory impulses). Despite this mayhem’s stunning, pornographic inappropriateness, Visitor Q eventually reveals itself to be both a sly critique of reality TV as well as a conservative statement about the decay of the Japanese family – and the necessity of traditional familial roles – during which each character reassumes his or her “proper” place in the household (father/provider, mother/nurturer, son and daughter/dutifully loyal offspring). But social commentary or not, any film brazen enough to interrupt a sex scene between a man and a dead woman with a joke about fecal matter is, to put it bluntly, the shit.