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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) Lorber

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The husband may look like a caterpillar, but it's the wife who goes through a transformation."
‑ Mike Hale, New York Times
"Might be read as a reaction to hawkish nationalism, but it's more a cry for the unknown soldier in the kitchen and bedroom."
‑ Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York
"Caterpillar is brilliant but tough to look at; Wakamatsu isn't pulling any punches as he delivers his message. It's the Feel-Bad Movie of the Week, really."
‑ Liz Braun, Jam! Movies
"An astonishing performance by Shinobu Terajima anchors this indictment of right-wing Japanese nationalism of the 1940s."
‑ Harvey S. Karten, Compuserve
""Caterpillar" is difficult to watch. But it's directed, acted and photographed well, and it's worth seeing even if it makes you uncomfortable."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"Legendary Japanese softcore auteur Kji Wakamatsu channels Samuel Fuller for a twisted domestic-drama-cum-psychosexual-evisceration of Japan's fascist past."
‑ Eric Hynes, Village Voice
"Essentially a sexually charged two-hander with blunt allegorical implications, Kji Wakamatsu's one-note follow-up to United Red Army is a disappointing affair, visually indifferent and thematically simplistic."
‑ Vadim Rizov, Boxoffice Magazine
"This film is as searing as any Western narrative or nonfiction on post-hostilities trauma."
‑ Donald J. Levit, ReelTalk Movie Reviews
"Blends a B-movie aesthetic, brilliant use of montage and documentary elements and a scathing critique of nationalism and militarism."
‑ Andrew O'Hehir,
"This Caterpillar creeps under your skin and stays there."
‑ Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film
"Aesthetically, emotionally, and intellectually crude, Koji Wakamatsu's brutally effective Caterpillar finds the director making obvious points about Japanese nationalism/militarism and less obvious ones about the sexual dynamic of marriage."
‑ Andrew Schenker, Slant Magazine
More reviews for Caterpillar on Rotten Tomatoes