Cute Little Girl + Mutant Killer Baby = A Splendid Slugfest to the DEATH!
A young girl arrives at her new mansion home, but must survive the attacks of a deadly mutant baby. This is based off of the works of Kazuo Umezu, and those who have seen the interesting short films within the "Manga Horror Theater" (2005) series know that such works are highly original and entertaining to boot. There's no denying the imaginative flare and entertainment value of "Wish", "House of Bugs", "Diet", and "Present." Even the weaker entries "Snake Girl" and "Death Make" were at least different and original.
It should not be surprising that "Tamami" (2008) has a number of similarities to "Wish" in terms of pitting a young child against an equally small (yet vicious) demonic entity. "Wish" started off slow but eventually provided a wild slugfest between a little boy and his possessed puppet. "Tamami" as a full length feature has the added advantage of providing greater visual eye-candy as well as a much healthier helping of violence. The cinematography is great and the mansion environment is sufficiently moody. The opening 20 minutes of visuals and scoring are really great, even mesmerizing. The soundtrack is eerily reminiscent of old school classics like "Halloween" and "Suspiria", but it isn't used often enough during the more climactic moments, in my opinion.
While starting off as a traditional creepy house endeavor, this morphs into a full-blown action-horror flick. The baby's got an ugly mug and has a short fuse. The filmmakers know this, so they do the right thing and toss in an absurdly long, extremely bloody slugfest between the little girl, the baby, and anyone else who's unlucky enough to get in the way. I kid you not, the final series of killings and attacks last a solid 40 minutes! Some of the death scenes are really cool too.
This is not a deep film by any means. Complex psychological and philosophical contemplations are unnecessary because "Tamami" relies heavily upon it's quirky setup, basic relationships, and suspense sequences. In this sense, it's an undeniable success that may not click with mainstream viewers very well. Why is that? Well, this film has a very playful, light aura of cheesiness that is somewhat difficult to pull off amidst the variety of serious overtones that surround it. If you're the kind of viewer who laughs giddily to the finale to "Evil Dead Trap" (1988), enjoys Hong Kong sorcery flicks of the early 1980s, or takes pleasure in the "Manga Horror Theater" series, then "Tamami" is right up your alley. I'm that kind of viewer, and I can honestly say that killer mutant babies occupy the same level of awesomeness as that of killer alien fetuses. Even more so when the filmmakers give me enough of what I want, and in the case of "Tamami", there's a LOT of mutant baby action.
This is a fun, wildly amusing movie that basically obliterates any American horror film from 2008 in terms of pure entertainment value. Oh yeah, when was the last time you saw an American girl under 13 years of age engage in acts of bloody violence with a mutant killer baby? Good luck sifting through all the lame torture flicks and remakes in your attempt to answer that riddle.
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