The landlord of a boarding house in 1923 Tokyo, is keen on spying on the bizarre close encounters taking place beneath his roof. One day he sees a prostitute killing a customer, and decides he's found his soulmate.
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Based on a story by well-praised Japanese writer Edogawa Rampo. In Tokyo, 1923, Saburo Gouda is exploring secrets of his fellow-occupants of an apartment building. All from above, using spy-holes bored in ceilings of his neighbors rooms. After he sees a meeting between aristocratic (and bored) Lady Minako and a clown, he realizes, that pursuit of Minako's blooming dark realm of senses is drawing themselves by the corruption they both experience and cause. Written by
Saburo (Renji Ishibashi) spends his spare time creeping into the attic of the communal building where he lives and crawling across the beams to access his neighbours' roof space, where he spies upon them through handy peepholes in the ceiling.
Among those he watches is Minako, the bored wife of a successful businessman, who has taken a room in the complex for her adulterous trysts. When Minako notices Saburo peering down on her during sex, she finds the experience so exciting that she kills her partner, a Pierrot clown, in the throes of passionan act that spurs Saburo on to commit his own murder.
Like Rampo Noir, the only other film based on a Rampo Edogawa novel that I have seen so far, Watcher in the Attic is a thoroughly tedious and pretentious art-house affair that, despite its salacious subject matter manages to bore more than it excites. With plenty of female nudity (primarily from star Junko Miyashita) and some profoundly weird moments of erotica (including a man who hides inside an armchair for kicks and a naked woman dressed as a stag), plus a relatively short runtime of 76 minutes, this should have breezed by; instead, the film is tortuously slow, director Noboru Tanaka testing the viewer's patience to the extreme with his repetitive, soporific style of storytelling.
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