Thursday, 31 May 2012

Tomie Unlimited (2011)

The Neverending Story:

Tomie is Back

Tomie is a narrative that is originated from a Manga, now Tomie Unlimited is the latest movie adaptation of Tomie is directed by Noboru Iguchi who is not a name that I am familiar with but he is involved with  Yoshihiro Nishimura who was the make up artist of Tomie Unlimited. Yoshihiro Nishimura is the director of Tokyo Gore Police, Helldriver extra and is also a make-up artist so when it comes to his film but in Tomie Unlimited is a little bit toned down compared to his over films. Tomie is a narrative that Japan constantly remake like Godzilla or Kamen Rider Movies and the imaginary of the film is what I imagined how the subject would be portrayed simply because of the knowledge of how Yoshihiro Nishimura works plus the imagery is similar to the Manga imagery.  I am not 100% sure about the Structure of the Narrative of  Tomie Unlimited but the imagery was interesting the director when to trouble of including little details like the way Tomie behaves from the way she moves to the way he flicks her hair.

When looking though the Manga, the influences for Tomie’s transformation became clear and the image above proves to be ironic simply because it is a crucifix which is something that I would not associate with Tomie. The Narrative of the film take into consideration the importance of cameras being used in the Manga, also the film showed the characters being influenced by Tomie simply by her kissing them but the only questionable aspect of this concept is that there were no real limitation to the characters that Tomie kissed and the narrative started to become involved with insested or just mad orgy.

Even though the characters seem shocked at the return of Tomie they seem to accept her return far too easily. Tomie has not returned as a human, nor as a zombie, nor a ghost but she is something else which is almost demonic. She is obsessed with her look or she is using her looks to control the other characters but she drives the other characters to a type of insanity.

Tomie has to mention here appearance throughout the film and this because there has to be contrast between the monsters with is a part of the beautiful woman that seduces the other characters. But in the film Tomie's sister, Tsukiko asked a very important question of what was the reasoning behind why she was controlling the other characters and what her goal in the of the film because everyone was just killing randomly.
There seems to not be any real reason for Tomie wanting to control other characters because they always end up killing her but she seems to multiply and taking over the town but no one seems to notice this happening.

The film is a horror but it is not under the same category as Ringu, Grudge or even Audition. The film is not even an Exploitation film even though it has Yoshihiro Nishimura involved in the production, it is not a revengeful ghost film or even revengeful woman film but is a demonic woman film. The beginning of the film was a bizarre as the ending of the film because it was not what I was expecting.
If you are expecting a film like Tokyo Gore Police or Helldriver you will be disappointed but if you are looking at the film just because you are interested in Tomie the Manga or the over Tomie film then the film is an interesting interoperation of a classic.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

A slit-faced woman (2007)

A Child's Nightmare:

Carved Flesh Deep

The film is based on a legend in Japan and like most Japanese ghost stories everything is not what it seems. The narrative starts with children telling the urban myth among each other and there is a feeling of suspension around the town but it is revealed that everyone in the town has there own personal issues and this is the cause of all their problems. All of the adult are as bad as the slit-faced woman  if not worst because the slit-faced woman is a supernatural being and the adult are just as abusive. The only characters that have any sense of the children but the only problem is that even the adult that are not abusive can be possesses by the slit-faced woman.

When i first heard about this film, i thought it was going to based like a murder mystery  but instead it is just a Japanese horror genre which the slit-faced woman appears as a zombie at the beginning ??? The slit-faced woman is a vengeful spirit that has come back to kill children or make people look like her. The thing being is that the slit-faced woman never asked any of the characters if she was pretty and just killed randomly. I mean yes, she mainly killed children but there where not really any explanations to why.  In the legend the child's fate was in consequence to how they answered her question,  the special effects where good, the make up artists must be working overtime on the slit-faced woman and they have gone to great detail to explain that the slit-faced woman is immortal.

All of the women that the  slit-faced woman posses are abusive so it is almost like she is reflecting herself into them and it is a disease that is passes on from person to person so it is no surprise that she returns even at the end. the night scene when they enter the house of the slit-faced woman it has an Aura of Ringu or Grundge because it is something like a ghost story or a zombie movie. It was no surprise that the slit-faced woman came back in the end simply because she is a vengeful spirit but i was surprised how easily she was found. All of these events can be only be explained as being supernatural because it is a very complicated concept and the man who was the son of the slit-face woman is filled with guilt. the audience is forced to question the reality of the film, it is like Inception in a way, is there really a slit-faced woman or is it peoples minds playing tricks on them? is the film a look in to the human mind? are the characters connected to the myth and avoiding their own personal demons?

The film is clever because in other films there is a distinction between victim and killer but there was no real distinction. There is no real division between good and evil but there is allot of suggestions of mental health or the human body being out of control. There are mental health issues that woman have where the have no emotional attachment to there children, Japan don't have any limitation to subject matters and this is similar to Suicide club where the look deeply into the subject of suicidal teenagers of Japan.  The concept of children being mutilated is one which not many people can relate to but the director is trying to use the main objective of the  Myth and tell the story in a way that people can understand.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Kaiji the Ultimate Gambler (2009)

The Most Dangerous Game:

Is a Card Game ???

The starts out with Tatsuya Fujiwara's character Kaiji being beaten up; this is slightly amusing because in Death Note his character was basically untouchable or just believed that he was. Now when this film was released it seemed that it ran with the Japanese theme of the Card Game being the ultimate weapon like in Yu-Gi-Oh for example and characters react to the proposal of playing a child’s Card Game with a What the Fuck!!

At this point it is clear that the director is trying to make fun of the concept that a Card Game can solve everyone problems, well the Games is intense and is almost like Battle Royale in the sense that none of the characters can trust each other but the Narrative is from Kaiji's prospective. Which sounds boring but when fights are braking out every 5 seconds and this takes the main focus away from Kaiji.

The Card Games is a simple Rock, Paper, Scissors which Kaiji loses after being trick and the concept appears to be like Liar Game; the then proceed to change direction for a while and shows the losers of the Card Games as slaves to the system. Kaiji mindless spends his money on Beer and treats, right upon until he is introduced to Kenichi Matsuyama's character Makoto Sahara which is the real reason I watched this film. Like in Death Note he has an invocative that the other characters do not and potentially moves the story in some form of direction and if it was not for him Kaiji would live in a hole for the rest of the plot. No lie;

When Kaiji realises that he has to fight to survive it starts to feel like the ultimate Game of Death, this has nothing to do with Card and more killing of Characters.

The characters decide to play another Game which involves them walking a pole which hangs over two high building and potentially fall to their Deaths.

But what happened to the Card Games?

Well like most survival Games it is to see who will survive till the end, plus it is to show how corrupt rich people are toward people who are working class, everyone falls like flies and this is no surprise because with every survival game in any film only one or to survive. This is to make the main characters look special but it comes across as corny. The reason for this is : If it is that difficult to survive this quest? Then why are you the only one who survived? Innocent people died.

That last picture pretty much explains Tatsuya Fujiwara's Character profile and at this point of the film he has cried a hell of a lot so as a viewer I want the film to just end.

“I don't care if He Wins or Loses at this point"
"But the madness has to End"

The scene build up and yes Kaiji wins; maybe he will cry about it later?
Then the scene goes

"Blah blah blah, I am bleeding blah, I Won you blah...."

Anyway the film ends with Kaiji forgetting about everyone who Died in the story and he is robbed by Rinko Endo, the woman who got him to start to Gamble with his money
So it is a Happy Ending in my opinion. He does give the last of his money to the olds man’s relative but the whole films seemed to drag a little.........

Monday, 21 May 2012

Helldriver (2010)

Japanese Exploitation Film's:

What the Helldriver ?

Helldriver is produced by the director of Tokyo Gore Police, these film have a very extreme approach of storytelling and have the charm of a Quintin Tarantino approach or a grind house aesthetic. Yoshihiro Nishimura's preview films are wonderful example of how interesting films can be Directed by people who have worked behind the camera's and are willing to get involved with the production of the own film. Yoshihiro Nishimura's aim is to try reinvent the already popular Japanese Horror and try to invent an alternative Genre which has come be known as Japanese Exploitation film. The concept of Yoshihiro Nishimura's film is to direct the narrative in different directions that the audience is not familiar with and push imagery of Gore or violence to new limits. this is one of the reason that his films can be classed as Exploitation, simply because the audience member either can appreciate the extreme content or they may be over whelmed by its cheap aesthetic. within the first 10 minutes of the film our female protagonist kicks ass and does a sort of pole dance but the female are both glamourizes and sexualised. It is important to realise that the film is not a Sexploitation for the films focus more on the Gore aspects of the film rather than sex but still could be argued that the female characters are sexualised. Eihi Shiina is in a lot of Yoshihiro Nishimura's, in Tokyo Gore Police she played our main hero which was interesting because she is most famous for her role as the psychotic female in Audition There are themes that run throughout Yoshihiro Nishimura film's like the fact the effects are made to look as unrealistic as possible, there is so much ore that it would be humanely impossible for it to be realistic and his films could be classed as a Cult film because it is desighned for a small market. Yoshihiro Nishimura's films feel almost playful in content, the characters appear to be having fun and there is a sense that his films are experimental. These are made out of Bad taste in the sentence of a Exploitation film, Tokyo Gore Police has similar themes to Panet Terror, both of them share grindhouse themes in the structure and Planet Terror was release 1 years before Tokyo Gore Police so this suggests that Yoshihiro Nishimura is inspired by Quintin Tarantio even if it is accidentally.

In Helldriver the story is basically consists of a zombie apocalyptic narrative which is not as important of the special effect like Tokyo Gore Policeand Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl. in fact Helldriver narrative has similarity to Tokyo Gore Police where Machine are the fret to Society, but in Helldriver it is zombies that are a problem to Society but it is not the narrative that the audience is interested in or even should take seriously because the whole purpose to the film is the artist aesthetic. The zombies have there on individual look which works really well, the zombies move and look how zombies should but it is believable that they can attack humans. It is interesting that the zombies are carrying weaponry because this even out the fight scenes. Helldriver has an ironic sense of humour like Yoshihiro Nishimura's and it is the man that is saying that the zombies are harmless that is the same guy gets eaten by them. After the long introduction, 50 minutes in the credits eventually role;
The film uses reference like Nazasim and a one of the characters being related to a Kamikaze pilot and therefore he has that in is nature so it is not surprising how he dies. there is a zombie Geisha in the movie who was an interesting chose of character, her costume is amazing, she fight the main characters beautifully; the whole concept of the narrative is similar to Chanbara beauty in the sense that the world has been taken over by zombies, there are female protagonist in it, the is a cowboy suit and a samurai female warrior although there isn't a fat useless character running around putting everyone else in danger. also it remind me of Zombieland in a sense because of the way that the narrative derives that have of the country has been blocked of by a wall and there is a big flashing light as the characters enter. This screams theme park!
The zombies are highly sexualised where are the human are just fighting to survive, the concept of zombies wanting flesh is taken in more than one way and when the zombies capture one of the main character they proceed to play with her in a suggestively sexual way
" It's raining Zombies, Halleljah"
"Wait a minute"

Near to the zombies invade the main city, they end up flying above the city and fly from the sky. They basically think it meal time and eat everyone but the crazy priest thinks this is a good idea and stands there while the zombies devour him. Think the film is trying to comment on the ways that people may act in a real zombie apocalyptic, the characters had a false opion that they were harmless, almost like bunnies and this was up until the started to bite.
" Yes zombies bite"

" Alot"