Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Three Films Make A Post's Daughter

Deadly Outlaw Rekka (2002): Takashi Miike in his Wild Director-Man of Japan role. The film merrily hops between ultra-violence, subdued Yakuza drama and weird humor, adds a wonderful scenery-chewing performance by Riki Takeuchi and a near magical bazooka. Somehow Miike gets a rather brilliantly fun film out of it that does not feel even remotely as random as it sounds. Extra bonus points for the ecstasy-inducing use of the Flower Travellin' Band's "Satori" as the rhythmic backbone of many scenes.


Ekusute (2007): Sion Sono directs a strange mix of Japanese horror parody, the grotesque and a story about child abuse with this tale of cursed hair extensions which fuck up the problematic life of a young Japanese woman (Chiaki Kuriyama) and her battered niece even more. Thanks to the director's incredible hand for tonal shifts, inventive grotesqueness and some rather great acting by Kuriyama, Miku Sato as the abused child and the inevitable Ren Osugi at his most exalted as the misogynist hair fetishist from hell, the film avoids every pitfall its ideas could set it up for.


Demonoid - Messenger of Evil (1981): One would think that a Mexican-American co-production of a film about the Devil's hand doing classical crawling hand mischief and possessing people while pining for Samantha Eggar couldn't be anything but great (fun at least). One would be oh so very wrong. Apart from a handful of moments of hand-wrestling hilarity this is just dreadfully boring. It drags, it is charmlessly incompetent, has a stocky mid-70s TV movie soundtrack - what a waste!


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