Japanese Journals Horror & Ghost Stories

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Re: Japanese Journals Horror & Ghost Stories

Postby trevor826 » Sat Aug 05, 2006 7:18 pm

Battle Heater: Kotatsu (1990)

Directed by Jji Iida

Starring Akira Emoto, Yasuko Tomita

A horribly inept comedy horror involving a possessed Kotatsu heater taking revenge primarily on the band/gang that threaten its owner and then on virtually anyone and everyone it comes into contact with.

The premise is ridiculous, the film lacks any form of decent direction, Jji Iida (aka George Iida) is certainly not renowned for the quality of his films and this certainly wont help to raise his esteem as a director.

Appalling performances from the majority of the cast, I felt sorry for Yasuko Tomita (Kitchen) in particular, she really deserves better than this. Stupid story, lousy effects, as already noted pathetic directing. Basically another film that didnt deserve to see the light of day nevermind a UK release when there are so many good films out there.

The one decent part is the scene involving an old couple who have obviously had enough and have arranged their own deaths including their funeral arrangements, not so much funny but actually quite sad and moving. At least until a huge electric jolt brings them back to life.

Other than that, the only interesting point is learning about kotatsu heaters which are very traditional to the Japanese, to learn more about these follow this link.

The film itself is utter tripe, far more painful than having skewers run through your tongue. Avoid at all costs unless you are a masochist.

Cheers Trev.

BBFC rated 12

R2 dvd released by Artsmagic

Re: Japanese Journals Horror & Ghost Stories

Postby trevor826 » Wed Aug 16, 2006 7:13 am

Wild Zero (2000)

Directed by Tetsuro Takeuchi

Starring Guitar Wolf, Masashi End

Worst Movie Ever Made would have been quite a fitting tagline for Wild Zero especially since its readily comparable with Edward D. Wood Jrs. Plan 9 from Outer Space yet like that infamous piece of junk Wild Zero is a big hit on the cult circuit.

So what do you get for your money?

Hundreds of wobbly yellow UFOs surrounding the Earth, a cast that couldnt act their way out of a paper bag, transsexual love, a gang boss running round in what appear to be Hot Pants, you need to have lived through the 70s to remember them.

Of course you also get Rock nRoll in the form of ultra loud Japanese garage band Guitar Wolf and millions of zombies complete with the prerequisite exploding heads.

I have to wonder if the point of the film was to create something so horrendously bad! No effort has gone into creating anything that could possibly be misconstrued as a plot. It seems to merely be a celebration of a group that are proud of being the loudest in the world. Guitar Wolf, loud and proud, flaming microphones, flaming motor cycles, flaming everything, with the sound that could be readily compared with Motorhead on a bad day but an image that goes even further back to 50s America, definitely a strong James Dean influence going on.

So whos gonna save the Earth from the zombies and the UFOs? whos gonna make everything right? whos gonna scream Rock nRoll throughout the film? Do I really need to tell you?

Why is this such a big cult hit then? Well part of it has to be because it is such a phenomenally bad film, but another plus point is that apparently on the US dvd, there is a built in drinking game, the rules of which are:

You have a drink whenever -
1. Someone says/yells ROCK N' ROLL!!!!!!
2. Something shoots fire/explodes
3. Someone combs their hair
4. Someone in the movie drinks
5. A zombie's head explodes

I couldnt imagine anyone getting through the film at that rate, even if it was just someone combing their hair.

So one to avoid unless youre in the mood for a trashy night with your mates and fancy the challenge of a suicidal drinking game.

Cheers Trev

BBFC rated 18

R2 dvd released by Artsmagic.
R1 dvd released by Synapse With drinking game.

Re: Japanese Journals Horror & Ghost Stories

Postby A » Fri Aug 18, 2006 12:00 am

Sounds like finally a Japanese Horror film I'd like to see.
I will try to check it out.
Thanks for the fun review, and the posting of the drinking game. Maybe I should try this with some of my friends.
Actually I missed a concert by Guitar Wolf some years ago they had here in germany. Too bad, as I would've loved to hear the loudes Japanese Lock'n'Loll Band. And their outfits looked very kinky.

Re: Japanese Journals Horror & Ghost Stories

Postby trevor826 » Fri Aug 18, 2006 12:18 am

Don't blame me if your liver packs up A, it looks like a one way trip to me.

Cheers Trev.

Re: Japanese Journals Horror & Ghost Stories

Postby A » Fri Aug 18, 2006 12:58 am

Maybe I can get four or five of them together, and we'll all share the chores. Who knows, maybe it's the purpose of the film to be so drunk halway through it, that you turn up the volume to the max and actually start enjoying the film, maybe even reenact some of its scenes.

Re: Japanese Journals Horror & Ghost Stories

Postby trevor826 » Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:11 am

Isola (2000) Isola: Tajuu jinkaku shjo

Directed by Toshiyuki Mizutani

Starring Yoshino Kimura, Y Kurosawa, Susumu Terajima

A film with a lot of promise that is let down by heading into all too familiar territory.

Dedicated to the people of Kobe after the earthquake in 95 and indeed effectively using this natural disaster as the setting for the story,

A girl (Yukari) with the unwanted ability to read minds travels to Kobe to help with relief work, during her time there she becomes involved with another troubled soul, a school girl (Chihiro/Isola etc), suffering with mpd (multi-personality disorder). Strange things are happening for which there is no logical explanation but people are dying and others are blaming Chihiro.

Even more complications arise when they learn that a scientist died during an experiment on 'out of body experiences' at the time of the quake. Apparently the experiment had been a success so although the body had been killed, the spirit had remained but had found a new host, the most accessible one available, Chihiro.

Unfortunately an interesting premise collapses in on itself and takes the easy route even stealing the ending from The Exorcist; it is a shame because you feel something really deep and interesting could have been done with the characters.

Ugetsu Monogatari is referred to several times during the story but Isola certainly doesn't live up to comparison with this literary and film classic.

The actual sets are pretty convincing of the wreckage after a quake plus the relief efforts, the cast are fine, indeed a few faces are very familiar plus theres the odd cameo. It's just a shame that it falls into the category of could have been because it truly could have been so much better rather than just adequate.

Cheers Trev.

BBFC rated 15

R2 dvd released by Ventura with a really terrible cover, in fact the cover has put me off from seeing this for years.

Re: Japanese Journals Horror & Ghost Stories

Postby trevor826 » Sat Nov 11, 2006 8:27 pm

Battlefield Baseball (2003) Jigoku kshien

Directed by Yudai Yamaguchi

Starring Tak Sakaguchi, Atsushi Ito, Hideo Sakaki

One of the silliest movies to come out of Japan in recent years, it comes across as a mix of Shaolin Soccer meets Happiness of the Katakuris though it's not as good as either of those movies.

Jubei is a new student at Seido High, despite the fact that he is an excellent baseball player he refuses to join the school team. It takes the literal massacre of the team by Gedo High, a real bunch of animals to make him face up to his past and realise his potential as a team player.

So what have you got? A really daft plot, very low budget special effects, constant reincarnation as well as a helping hand from the deceased, silly (and badly sung) songs and mediocre performances.

This is the type of film (along with the likes of Wild Zero) that will get a core of fervent diehard fans, it will remain a cult film and is unlikely to appeal to the mainstream. What it does have, once you get past the mindless story is a good sense of humour, everytime I was about to give up on it I found something to laugh out loud about and this kept me hanging on right to the cheesy end.

Itll never win awards, it is absolutely stupid but it is also dumb entertainment. Ideal for an evening with a couple of drinks and a few mates.

Cheers Trev.

No BBFC rating but suitable for over 15s.


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