Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In short: Erotic Ghost: Siren (2004)

A gang of Yakuza whose members are gifted with typical Yakuza names like Chucky and Jews has made a big robbery. The group decides to hide out in an abandoned gold mine until a boat will get them and their ill gotten gains of one and a half million dollars out of the country.

While they are picking up supplies from a girl (AV actress Sora Aoi) waiting for them by the side of the road, their quite badly tucked away loot just falls onto her. These are not the most suave of gangsters.

Obviously, the girl now knows too much and has to be kidnapped.

At their hide out, the gangsters' egos and greed start to clash something fierce. The situation isn't much helped by the fact that the poor helpless girl isn't as poor and helpless as you might think. In fact, she is a demon preying on the greed of men, driven by a healthy love for killing her victims during intercourse. She is having a fun time setting the men against each other. Which wouldn't be all that difficult with these men even without her hypnotic powers.

Another Japanese sex and horror film about a men-murdering siren? Well I'm in. This is somewhat different from Siren X in that it is not a true pinku, but a made for DVD film with a lot of sex (yes, there's a difference - namely less sex and a longer running time in this non-pinku).

The film's main selling point is of course Sora Aoi, who (besides being really rather hot when she puts her mind to it) has a strange screen presence perfectly fitting for this role. Her fluctuation between a weird zoned-outness and inappropriate girlyness wouldn't work in your typical drama, but for a mythical creature her demeanor seems perfectly appropriate. I am in fact a bit reminded of Christina Lindberg, whose performances mostly weren't "good" by acting school standards, yet who was able to inhabit her roles through a combination of presence and intelligence.

The rest of Siren is mostly alright. The male actors are all doing their jobs professionally, the script is a little talky and could have used a re-write by someone who hasn't seen quite so many other movies (although I liked the references to Reservoir Dogs), or at least someone who didn't feel the need to throw the fact in your face.

Satoshi Torao's direction is good enough in a cheap hand-camera-loving way. He sometimes uses the dreaded digital colour filters to better, less annoying effect than usual, but mostly he seems to be trying to keep the film's obvious low budget in check and the talking head scenes dynamic through movement.

All in all, I found this to be a perfectly entertaining little film in the classical exploitation manner, which is a lot more than I usually expect from anything shot directly for the DVD market.


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