Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mondo Year Two: Top 10 Weirdest Japanese Films

Japan is a popular target over at Mondo Bizarro.  Do I feel bad about it?  No.  These guys make movies with titles like Executive Koala, Mutant Girl Squad & Attack Girls' Swim Team vs. the Undead.  I don't always hate their movies, however, which distinguishes them from say, Troma.  I watch a lot of Japanese films because the country is full of crazy, crazy things.  Here are 10 examples of what I'm talking about..

10. Evil Dead Trap: What is snuff, baby don't hurt me!  This odd film features a female reporter tracking down the source of a snuff film sent to her show.  She finds a bizarre, serial killer who sets elaborate death traps to test people.  Sound like a movie that would come out about 15 years later?  What makes the film especially odd is that it ends...and then ends again and...ends a third time.  Each ending is weirder than the last too.

9. Devilman: Anime-to-film adaptations are usually this weird.  The film involves a portal that opens up to the center of the Earth, unleashing demon spirits into Japan.  Our hero is taken over by one, as is his best friend.  The former controls his evil side and fights for good, while the latter just kind of starts killing people.  CG monsters, a random Third Act change and News Anchor Bob Sapp are the highlights here.

8. Assault Girls: I'm still picking on this movie.  A film about a quartet of people playing an MMO by themselves in which they fight giant sand worms.  The crazy part: the movie is dull as dirt.  It has about three great moments in it, but a lot of padding.  The only way to make a film weirder is to make it dull, I guess.

7. Rasen: The sequel that nobody wants to acknowledge exists!  Released in conjunction with Ringu, this film is based on the story of the same name.  The ghost from the tape moves into the real world via pseudo-science involving cloning and plans to make a new infection: the book about the search for the tape.  The film was so despised in Japan that another sequel was made- Ringu 2- and it disappeared.  It's easy to see why, even by Japanese standards.

6. Hellevator- Bottled Fools: Quiet on the one set!  This film is about a dark future where people live underground and take elevators everywhere.  My God- they live in the Chrysler Building.  Most of the film is relegated to either social commentary, random characters or a quickly-resolved plot with serial killers.  It's weird, but also kind of boring in parts.

5. Stacy: When you make a nonsensical film for $10, it shows.  You can't explain this film with a straight face- you just can't.  Teenage girls between the ages of 16 and 18 are randomly turning into zombies due to an infestation of 'pixie dust' in their bodies.  A love sub-plot slips in, as does one involving a guy trying to protect his zombie sister.  More importantly, silly humor, off-beat gore and bizarre references slip in too.  It's beyond belief...but it's only #5. 

4. Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl: I love this film in all of its bizarre glory.  A new student comes to a school and goes after the only boy that the girls seem to care about.  Sorry, everybody else with a penis!  During a confrontation, she kills the rich girl in school, but she gets brought back as a Frankenstein-style creature.  The clash is epic and the movie is freaky as all hell.  It's no Tokyo Gore Police, but it's fun.

3. Sky High: Ryuhei Kitamura strikes again!  A serial killer is taking out women, but it's not for any reason that you could possibly guess.  He's killing women who are the reincarnation of previous Guardians of the Gates of Heaven & Hell.  Why?  To harvest their hearts as part of a spell to open Hell itself!  Throw in a police investigation, sword-fighting and a weapon that can kill ghosts- oh my!

2. Visitor Q: This one was so weird that even I couldn't finish it!  The film has a very loose narrative structure, but seems to tell the tale of a family in strife.  Such strife includes the son beating up the mom, a bit with a hooker and more.  When a man is randomly attacked with a brick- I'm shocked.  When a woman is caned for making dinner too slowly- I'm really shocked.  When a male reporter is raped on the air by a gang of teens- I'm done.

1. Robo-Geisha: When buildings start spurting blood, I know that I've found a winner!  The film is a mish-mash of stories, including an evil corporation, a sister-sister feud and the search for a missing girl.  It all culminates in a battle between the two now-robotic sisters & a final showdown on Mount Fuji.  What can you expect?  A woman who has tank treads in place of legs, arm pit blades and a man with a gun in his knee caps.  If you love crazy, see this movie!

Up next, we close up the Top 10 List celebration with the one you've been waiting for- the Top 10 Worst Films of Mondo Bizarro- Year Two.  This will hurt- a lot.  Stay tuned...


  1. Awesome list and some films I really need to see! I love Visitor Q and Sky High. Saw Rasen a while ago but can't remember much about it - it was around the time I also watched Ring Virus, the Korean version of Ring, and they all started to blur into one film. Have you read the Ring books? The third book, Loop, is perhaps the most bizarre novel I've ever read.

  2. Chris, 'Rasen' is the one where he makes a clone of the lady from the tape and the boyfriend from 'Ringu,' thus dooming the world in a plot thread never mentioned again.

    As far as the books go, I haven't read them. It is something that I've considered though. Especially considering that I've seen adaptations of a good chunk of the source material already.