Minoru Kawasaki, Japan, 2005, Digital Betacam, 85′, English subtitles


Tamura is an average Japanese salaryman working in a pickle distribution company. He is well liked, hard-working, polite, wears a suit and tie, and also happens to be a six-foot tall koala bear. But when his girlfriend Yoko turns up dead, he must enlist the help of his boss (a white rabbit) and a friendly store clerk (a frog) in order to prove his innocence. If they were giving out medals for the ultimate cult classics of the new millennium, Minoru Kawasaki and his surreal low-budget reinventions of the venerable kaiju tradition Executive Koala, Calamari Wrestler, Crab Goalkeeper and Monster Seafood Wars would take home the gold, the silver, the bronze…and the podium!

“Get set to experience the only film in existence that illustrates exactly why it’s a good thing that koala fur doesn’t show on white collars. Do we even need to tell you that Executive Koala is the latest production from brilliant oddball filmmaker Minoru Kawasaki, whose Calamari Wrestler dropped countless jaws at Fantasia 2004? Like that film, one of the core charms of this one is that Tamura is the only koala bear character in it! Roughly 99 per cent of the characters are humans, who seem to think little of the fact that their co-worker is, well, a five-foot koala bear in a suit. /…/ The film is funny and absurdist but nonetheless manages to whip a few dark curveballs into the fax tray, along with some kung-fu and even a musical number. Did you really think a film tiled Executive Koala could restrain itself to being just one thing? Another example of why Japanese pop culture is the strangest and greatest in the world!”
Fantasia Film Festival