I won't lie- I love Japanese movies! So many of them are simply weird beyond compare & others are just absurdly-violent. When I get lucky, they're both! About 30 of the reviews done here are from the Land of the Rising Sun and more are to come. In the meantime, here is a look at some of the weirdest films from that country to grace my site.
10. Tokyo Zombie: We begin with a movie that has a serious identity crisis! This is an adaptation of a manga series, which explains the oddly-erratic plot. The plot revolves around a pair of lazy warehouse workers who spend their time practicing judo instead of working. When a zombie outbreak occurs, they finally decide to leave, but one of them is bitten by a zombie and infected. One cartoon segue later and the movie jumps ten years! The remaining cast lead is forced to fight zombies for the joy of rich people in walled-up cities right out of Land of the Dead. This movie is not scary, not funny and not interesting- but it is weird as hell!
9. Eko Eko Azarak II/III: This series has brought me a lot of annoyance and entertainment, but more of the former than the latter. The second film is a prequel that sets up how Misa became a powerful witch who wanders around vanquishing evil. The majority of the film has her being pursued by zombies until she confronts a fellow witch. Her key to victory: summoning Satan himself to kill her foe. The third film involves her infiltrating a female drama troupe to uncover an attempt to summon ancient magic- don't ask. The whole thing ends with a big battle between the evil girl and Misa, the former of which reveals herself to be an Homunculus! Our heroine proves so powerful that she can come back from the dead and make the evil witch appear dead in the past! How does...why does...aw, screw it!
8. Izo: This movie is just damn weird. I could really stop there, but I won't. The film is apparently supposed to show a disgraced samurai's descent into madness. What the film is actually about is a series of random fight scenes and disturbing moments in a variety of weird locations. Any film where a man jumps into a lake and appears in a classroom full of students is screwed up. When said students turn into demons and attack him, the deal is sealed. The movie even includes a cameo by big, black man Bob Sapp as...a Buddhist Monk. Yeah, I don't get it either. It's weird, ridiculous and ends suddenly. It's a Takashi Miike film, which really explains. This is probably the weirdest film by him that I will ever see until I watch Visitor Q.
7. The Star of David- Hunting For Beautiful Girls: This one is the most recent induction into my love of Japanese cinema is not as weird as a whole, but manages to wrap up in a crazy way. The film is about a man who realizes that he is the son of a rapist and decides to become one himself. His quest drives him to commit horrible acts of depravity towards women who offend him for one reason, but his real focus is on love. Throughout the film, he pines for a woman from his past, all the while molesting strangers. In the end, he finds love, only for her to commit suicide and reveal a series of incestual flings with her father! The film wraps up in a way that is supposed to make us mourn for the man. Um, what movie were you watching, guys?
6. Assault! Jack the Ripper: This is the kind of movie that only Mondo Macabro could bring you. A pair of coworkers at a restaurant ride home one night, but pick up a crazy hitchhiker. They accidentally run her over & learn that this really turns them on. Unfortunately, that's the only thing that turns them on towards each other. Naturally, there is only one option: become a serial-killing couple. Things turn sour when the man decides to start killing people and not have sex with her afterward. It all ends in a bloody climax that you had to know was coming. Freaky- yes. Disturbing- yes. Logical- not in the slightest.
5. The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai: This was my first introduction to the genre of Pink Films (see Star of David and Assault) & it's a wonder that I watched anymore. Basically, a hooker gets shot in the head and becomes super-smart...but is still a whore. She has the cloned finger of George W. Bush in her purse, which makes her the target of mobsters. It's freaky as hell, but chooses to focus more on the sex than the insanity. Your plot involves a woman being molested by the re-animated finger of a U.S. President, but would rather have 600 screwing scenes? Really, guys?!?
4. Attack Girls' Swim Team vs. the Undead: This- alongside with my #3 film- is one of the earliest reviews on the site and is actually a film that I watched on Christmas Eve. In a nutshell, a new girl shows up at a school around the same time that a zombie plague breaks out. The movie has about 600 plot twists in it and manages to stop the entire story dead for a five minute long hump-fest between our two female leads. Never mind that they 'think that they are sisters' or that 'people are being horribly-killed.' The whole thing ends up being a bizarre mix of sex film, horror film and whatever plot threads were left over when Alias got canceled. It's an interesting film, but it makes no damn sense.
3. Executive Koala: I won't lie- I don't get this movie. The story involves our titular hero as a business man who is troubled by his past. When it comes out that he was an abusive husband & the woman ends up dead, the law comes after him. On top of that, a business vendor reveals that he had a past affair with his wife. What will he do? Will he become crazy? This all sounds dramatic and sincere...until you realize that the lead is a humanoid koala, his boss is a humanoid frog and we only get three monster men. Everyone else is human, but only person ever has a problem with this. Not to mention that the movie throws in several late-story plot twists and an explanation of our protagonist's actions that makes no damn sense.
2. Tokyo Gore Police: Is it any wonder that this movie made the list? Anyone who is familiar with my reviews and lists knows that I love this movie. If you don't know the plot, it involves a lady who must stop a guerrilla group of criminals known as Engineers. Their ace in the hole: the ability to turn disabilities into weapons. This movie was shot in two weeks, which is an impressive feat considering how many prosthetic shots on our display here. You don't care about that, though? You want to see the woman spraying acid from her nipples or the guy who gets his eyes replaced with tiny machine guns that fire brain matter out. Seriously- watch this movie. You will be all the weirder for it.
1. Entrails of A Virgin/Entrails of a Beautiful Woman: These two movies are actually part of a trilogy, although the third film is out-of-print and missing. Considering how these movies turned out- I'm not sad! One of them is about a group of criminals who rape a nurse and cause her to OD on a form of Angel Dust. She does not die, however, and comes back for revenge as a male monster. Sure, that makes...no sense. The other film is about a group of models who go out to the mountains for a photo shoot, but just end up being molested. Comeuppance is given to the men by a crazed mountain man...who rapes and assaults the women too. I'm sorry, but what is the moral here? I guess any film that has a woman's guts ripped out through her, um, honey pot has no moral, does it?
That's just a taste of it, mind you. Let's not forget the entire Godzilla Millenium series, plus some great films coming down the pipe. When such great films as Yoroi: The Samurai Zombie and Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl come to our shores, you know I'll snatch those ones up!
Up next, the conclusion to my Year In Review Top 10 Lists. These are the Worst Films of Mondo Bizarro (Year 1). Stay tuned...