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Death Powder (1986)
"Desu pawuda" (original title)

 -  Sci-Fi | Horror  -  21 June 1986 (Japan)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 147 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 4 critic

Two people, a man and a woman enters a warehouse that will change their life and minds forever.



(original story),
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Credited cast:
Shigeru Izumiya ...
Takichi Inukai
Rikako Murakami ...
Mari Natsuki ...
Kiyoshirô Imawano ...
Dr. Loo
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tamio Kageyama
Kôichi Satô


Two people, a man and a woman enters a warehouse that will change their life and minds forever.

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Sci-Fi | Horror

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Release Date:

21 June 1986 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Death Powder  »

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User Reviews

makes "Naked Lunch" look like a kitchen-sink UK drama.
7 October 2012 | by (Wigtownshire) – See all my reviews

¶ Full-throttle splatter-disc Japanese steampunk science-fiction/horror at its most aggressive, this mind-blower about alien parasites that turn their human hosts into slave 'Neoborgs' will leave you dizzy and drained - in a good way. higeru Izumiya's underground classic Desu Pawuda aka Death Powder is definitely among the weirdest, most bizarre films in human history. It puts to shame David Lynch' Eraserhead, Shinya Tsukamoto's tetsuo and some other extremely memorable and unique exercises in cinematic magic and limits beyond imagination. Death Powder has very little to do with plot or story, and what's there is extremely hard to follow and seems not to make any sense. One character says at one point to another: "Try to pretend that you're understanding what it's all about. Like life itself, this makes no sense." That line really tells something what to expect from this low budget gem from Japan, the land of many great film makers.

¶ There are three mercenaries/soldiers who go to some mysterious storehouse in which even more mysterious figure is lying on a bed without any mattress. Suddenly, the figure blows some dust/powder on one of the soldiers and then the nightmare begins. It soon turns out, that one of the soldiers (played by the director Izumiya himself) has already been "infected" by this powder and now the question is what will happen to these two hapless victims, the other being a female by the way. The newly "infected" mercenary starts to have severe hallucinations into some netherworld, a universe unknown to us and a place never depicted on film before, and soon it is revealed that the powder has still many more victims to "dust"...

¶ If you're craving an experimental science-fiction/horror roller-coaster that will have you leaving the theater feeling like you just had your entire brain and body shaken and stirred, Meatball Machine is exactly the full-strength cinematic potion you need. A feature-length expansion of a short film --note: according to numerous Japanese sources, the running time of DESU ZPAWUDA (1999) was 70 minutes) makes the early aggressive cyberpunk endeavors of directors Shinya Tsukamoto (Tetsuo) and Sogo Ishii (Burst City) look like models of restraint and tranquility. DESU ZPAWUDA starts off as a sweet romance, but that doesn't last long: shy, lonely factory worker has a crush on fellow factory employee Sachiko, but just when they start to bond... well, aliens invade the earth and attach themselves as parasites to human bodies. The method of parasitism is grotesque enough

  • the aliens implant tumor-like globules on the shoulders of their

victims and pilot them like robots (whilst also blinding them with devices that penetrate their eye sockets) - but when Yamamoto and Yamaguchi take the viewer inside the parasite blobs to observe the slimy mini-extraterrestrial activity first-hand, then you know you're onto a stomach-turning winner. Meatball Machine puts its cinematic foot all the way down on the gas pedal and doesn't let up until the inevitable battle between Yoji and Sachiko - a touching testament to young love, blood, and alien ooze ¶ At this point I want to say that the plot is extremely hard to follow and I had to watch the film twenty two times in order to be able to write about it. The story and plot are not the things this film has to offer and thus the audience for this kind of film becomes even smaller. The film is also extremely slow moving and has many "dead" moments (the film runs mere 62 minutes, though) so don't watch this when you're tired since this film requires your full attention. These are not necessarily bad things if one can enjoy and appreciate this kind of different and very personal and independent cinema. If you thought Tetsuo was way too irritating and hard to understand in its madness, then forget Death Powder right now because this is absolutely even more bizarre experience.

Dr Monsieur Poopoo, University of Paris Laarbeeklaan 103, B - 1090 Walloon Region

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