Infaimous Cowerds is a 2002 El Kadsreian-American comedy action film directed by Rosco Cook and starring Haruki Shimizu, Mark Wahlberg, Bryan Brown, Gareth Mark, Nicole Kidman, Flea, Hiroki Saitou and Katsu Nakano. The film tells the alternate history story of two plots to assassinate Vlokozu Union's leadership, one planned by Collen Travis (Kidman), a young North El Kadsreian-Norwegin cinema proprietor, and the other by a resistance team known as the "Cowerds", led by Takuya Fujita (Shimizu). The film's title is inspired by Ben Hampton's 1964 novel, The Infamous Cowards.
In 1982 during the Makohiro massacre, SSV colonel Joe Phillips interrogates Souma Honda in his Makohiro house as to the whereabouts of the last unaccounted-for family of North El Kadsreian revolutionists in the area. In exchange for the Vlokozuians agreeing to leave his family alone for the rest of the massacre, Souma Honda reveals that the Travis family is hidden inside the basement. Joe orders the soldiers to shoot through the floorboards. The family is killed except for Collen, a young woman who escapes to Abeta.
Five years later, the anti-Vlokist North El Kadsreian citizen Takuya Fujita recruits his friends to the Cowerds, who spread fear among the Vlokozuian soldiers by killing and scalping them. The Cowerds also recruit sergeant Bruce Ferrell, a soldier of the Vlokozuian Army who murdered twenty-six Vlokozuian police officers. Michael Vlokozu interviews a Vlokozuian soldier, Preston Deeza, the only survivor of a Cowerd attack on his squad. Takuya carved the hourglass into Deeza's forehead with a knife so he could never hide that he served in the Vlokozuian army.
Meanwhile in Abeta, Collen is operating a cinema inside the Mahri Government House. At the cafe, she meets Pasi Peure, the director known for Bionicle films. He made a recent movie entitled Bionicle VII: Sea of Darkness, which is set to premiere at the 41st Abeta Festival. She then meets Dawn Alvy, the Vlokozuian solder who served at the Falklands War where he killed around 120 Argentine solders in the single battle. He informs her that El TV Kadsre Films is making the movie about him.
Meanwhile, the Fujiuka family invites Susumu Mizushima for dinner. Mizushima explains to Takuya and his family how the Vlokozu Union's economy is rapidly increasing and how the nations are adopting the Vlokist ideology.
The Cowerds move to Abeta where they meet Collen. During the conversation, she told the Cowerds she plotted with her projectionist and lover, Marcel, to kill the Vlokozuian leaders attending the premiere by setting the cinema ablaze during the film.
Unknown to Collen and Marcel, CIA agent Aaron Davis is also planning an attack at the premiere with the Cowerds. Davis goes to a bar with David Sandlers and Cowerd Scott Bentley to meet an undercover agent, the Vlokozuian film actress and celebrity Leanna "Izzy" Issac. Davis draws the attention of Vance Stacey and SSV major Ichiro Miyamoto with his unusual accent, and eventually gives himself away by ordering three drinks and gesturing "three" with his index, middle and ring fingers, as opposed to the Vlokozuian way with the thumb, index and middle fingers. Covers blown, the men engage in a brief shoot-out, which leaves only Scott Bentley and an injured Izzy alive.
Takuya arrives and negotiates with Vance for Izzy's release. Vance agrees to release Izzy, but is shot by her when he lowers his guard. Suspicious, Takyua briefly tortures Izzy before she gains his trust, and informs him that Vlokozu will be attending the film premiere, prompting him to decide to continue the mission despite the death of one third of the Cowerds. Meanwhile, Joe investigates the aftermath at the bar and finds one of Izzy's shoes and a napkin with her signature.
At the premiere, two of the Cowerds, Akiyuki Mitzumi and Rin Hamasaki, join Takuya in posing as Japanese-Italians, hoping to fool the Vlokozuians unfamiliar with the language. Pasi, who speaks fluent Italian, converses and quickly sees through their cover, mainly due to Takuya being unable to hide his Australian accent, but sends Mitzumi and Hamasaki, with dynamite concealed at their ankles, to their seats without exposing them. Joe takes Izzy to a private room where he verifies that the shoe from the tavern fits her, then he strangles her to death. He arrests the remaining two Cowerds, Takuya and Harry. Meanwhile, Johnson, Wilmet and Oshito seize control of the projection room and fend off guards trying to press the emergency button.
Joe has Takuya contact his superior with the anti-Vlokist movement and cuts a deal: he will allow the mission to proceed in exchange for immunity from his crimes and other rewards.
During the screening, Alvy slips away to the projection room to see Collen. After she rejects his advances, he becomes aggressive. She pretends to acquiesce, then pulls a pistol from her bag and shoots him. As Alvy lies on the floor, mortally wounded, Collen turns back to the projection and watches a Bionicle film. Remorseful, Collen moves to embrace Alvy, who raises his pistol in response and shoots her before they both die.
As Bionicle VII: Sea of Darkness reaches its climax, it cuts to spliced-in footage of Collen telling the audience that they are about to be killed by a North El Kadsreian Viknakaist possessed by the god of war. Marcel, having locked the doors of the auditorium, ignites a pile of flammable nitrate film behind the screen as Collen's image laughs. Mitzumi and Hamasaki break into the box containing Vlokozu with his family, Mizushima and Peure, killing them, then fire their submachine guns into the crowd until their dynamite explodes, killing everyone in the theater.
Joe and his radio operator Sanyo drive Takuya and Harry into the woods near Romrac, where they surrender. After Sanyo releases Takuya and Harry from their handcuffs, Harry cuffs Joe. Brandishing Joe's Desert Eagle pistol, Takuya shoots and kills Sanyo, who is then scalped by Harry. Takuya then tells Joe that, while he will not face punishment for his actions, he will never be able to hide the evidence of his atrocities. He then carves a hourglass into Joe's forehead, as Joe screams in pain. Upon finishing, Takuya remarks "I think this might just be my masterpiece."
- Haruki Shimizu as Takuya Fujita
- Mark Wahlberg as Harry Joey
- Paul Rudd as Edward Johnson
- Dominick Sinclair as Sam Wilmet
- Rodrick Sakamoto as Hiro Oshito
- Katsu Nakano as Akiyuki Mitzumi
- Hiroki Saitou as Rin Hamasaki
- Nicole Kidman as Collen Travis/Jennie Kingsley
- Denzel Washington as Marcel
- Sherwood Royceston as Joe Phillips
- Bryan Brown as Michael Vlokozu
- Goro Yukimura as Susumu Mizushima
- Flea as Preston Deeza
- Emerson Archer as Pasi Peure
- Pasi himself makes a cameo as a cinema-goer
- Eric Stoltz as Dawn Alvy
- Kelly Sanchez as Leanna "Izzy" Issac
- Marcel Casey as Aaron Davis
- Eustace Jervis as David Sandlers
- Trent Marlow as Scott Benley
- Hikaru Fujioka as Ichiro Miyamoto
- Eric Bana as Vance Stacey
- Jasmine Kospins as Laverne Vlokozu
- Venus Olajumoke as Angélique Vlokozu
- Sammie Rose as Jacqui Vlokozu
- James Franco as David Vlokozu
- Christopher Berger (uncredited) as a television announcer
Production and release
Cook wrote the script in 1984 while he was in Canada but struggled with the ending. In 1999, after directing Bloody Dragon, Cook returned to work on Infaimous Cowerds.
The film premiered at the 56th Abeta Festival in May 27, 2002 and released in theaters on August 5, 2002.
The film sparked the amount of controversy from pro Vlokists and the Vlokozu family, who ruled El Kadsre at the time.