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Goke is one of those films that I had only heard about in the 1980's but was never able to see. It had a reputation among the hard core film fans as something out of left field but not very good. Many years later I had forgotten about the film but had chanced across director Sato's deliriously silly kid's film "Golden Bat". I was rather surprised that this film was by the same man.
The film is very artificial from the first shot of a model jet in front of a red sky to the rock quarry most of film takes place in. Most Japanese film fans will recognize this quarry. It's in samurai films, gangster films and every other episode of Power Rangers. The cheapness is off-set by the care of the direction and photography. The special effects are super color saturated and very bizarre at times. While definitely not a children's film, Sato utilizes a number of techniques from Golden Bat including the generic action music and the kabuki inspired movements for the possessed.
The energy that's put into this film makes up for the logic gaps, bad acting and cheapness. The ending is very unexpected, nightmarish and disturbing. Finishing this film is like waking from a very bad night of sleep. As Sato has no further films in his listing here yet lived for quite a while after, I wonder what was his state of mind while making this film.
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