Buy | Rent
This had been one of the Holy Grail of Asian American movies in terms of how difficult it was to come by a copy; now, finally, it's on DVD.
I first saw this when I was a TA for an Asian American film class taught by Alvin Lu and he screened this as one of the first films 1) because it's a great film and 2) it scares off students. Seriously, I think our enrollment fell by 20% after screening this because it's bizarre and gory but also, in my opinion, completely brilliant.
Moritsugu, along with Gregg Araki, made a reputation for themselves in the early 1990s as "bad boy" filmmakers working in a post-punk tradition. Both were also subject to some criticism within the Asian American community because, though they were AA, their early films had no AA cast or themes. Moritsugu, whether influenced by that criticism or not, fired off Terminal U.S.A, the most bitingly funny and over-the-top satires of Asian American family melodramas created - and keep in mind, this film came out before the wave of family melodramas began to crest with Joy Luck Club and it has (unfortunately) gone relatively unabated through present.
The film is big on theatrics, gore, and generally bizarreness as we watch a nuclear Japanese American family (starring Moritsugu himself) implode in the most outrageous ways. including, in no particular order, IV drug use, bathroom blow jobs, gay sex phone lines, drugs, guns, and the most improper use of a hobby horse, ever. I can't even sum it up properly.
One of these days, I'll get around to writing a more proper review but seriously, you need to see this. (Unbelievably, the film was originally produced by and screened on PBS.)