Review by Fiore
As documentaries go, MAD TIGER is run of the mill, but its subject matter is so bizarre it makes for a fascinating view. I have never understood the underground scene, and after watching MAD TIGER, I still don’t. The film causes me to question the mental acuity of anyone following this genre of music.
MAD TIGER follows the band Pee-lander Z. It is comprised of a group of Asians, who readily admit they are not musicians. I can concur. The music they play in the film is god awful; primordial screams and discordant instruments all playing their own tune, but seemingly never the same tune. Their fans, though relatively small and cultish, are avid. The band admits it is its acting and performance on stage that is important, not the music.
Directors Michael Haertlin and Jonathan Yi orchestrate a fine opus in presenting the band and its high drama when Red, who is Kotaro Tsukada and one of the founding members, opts to leave to ostentatiously become a bartender. This devastates the band, especially co-founder and group leader Yellow, played by Kengo Hioki. While he tries to keep a positive outlook on Red’s leaving, he sinks into a funk from what he sees as betrayal. The other band members include Yumiko Hioki Akiteru Ito and Akihiko Naruse. They all speak English, but none of them can be understood. The filmmakers provide subtitles, and they are most needed.
MAD TIGER provides a glimpse into the New York underground from the perspective of a self-proclaimed Japanese Action Comic Punk Band. The documentary will open the first week of May
MAD TIGER presents the band and the underground scene like a train wreck – you can watch it for a while, but you certainly don’t want to be part of it.
THE GRADE FOR MAD TIGER = C