Reviews written by registered user

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18 reviews in total 
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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Bloody and sexy horrors Nikkatsu style, 7 June 2002

Detective Kajii and his partner have to investigate the murder of a man named Kimura. Kajii suspects a beautiful young woman, Kazumi. Unfortunately for him, he falls in love with her. Then the madness starts...

Sexy horrors from Hitoshi Ishikawa, veteran director of many Japanese pink films. This new thriller easily equals the overall sickness of some of his former work, when he directed movies under the pseudonym "Gô Ijûin" (together with two other directors, Genji Nakamura and Ryûichi Hiroki). Those who liked "Audition" will probably enjoy "Blood and Ecstasy/Chi to Ekusutashii" as well. Those with a weak stomach beware...

Shikoku (1999)
19 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
Eerie, sad and beautiful, 7 March 2002

Teenage girl Hinako returns to her home village on the Japanese island of Shikoku (which she left for Tokyo with her parents when she was a little girl) for the first time. Back then, a girl named Sayori and a boy named Fumiya were her best friends. Now Hinako meets Fumiya again, but Sayori died when she was 16. Hinako soon discovers that strange things are going on. Sayori's mother, a priestess, wants to bring her daughter back from the dead. 88 temples circle the fog-shrouded island as a seal to protect its inhabitants from the dead. But by traversing the temples in reverse order for every year of a deceased person's life, the seals can be undone and the dead person will come back to life. And Sayori's mother is about to travel the temples for the 16th time...

Shikoku is the smallest of the four big Japanese islands (the others are Honshû, Kyûshû, and Hokkaidô). Written in Kanji, "Shikoku" means "island of the four lands", but the title of this film changes the first Kanji - you still read it "Shikoku", but now it means "island of the dead". This island is still a remote place far away from the great Japanese cities, there are large, fog-shrouded forests and mountains and it makes a great setting for an eerie ghost story. The film was released together with Hideo Nakata's "The Ring 2" and produced by the same company, Asmik-Ace Entertainment. Beautifully filmed and filled with atmosphere and some very spooky moments, this is a highly recommended modern "shinrei-mono" (ghost story).

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
The first 100%-CGI movie, 6 March 2002

It is the year 2065, and earth is under attack by phantom-like aliens that stranded here when a meteor crashed into our planet 34 years ago. Humans who get in touch with the aliens lose their "spirit" - and their life. Human race is living in constant fear behind giant walls, while special forces battle against the aliens in the wastelands. But now young scientist Aki Ross and her mentor Dr. Sid just found what could be the ultimate countermeasure against the ghostly creatures from outer space. To complete their plans, they must find the "eight spirits of earth" - but the stubborn General Hein has different plans. He wants to shoot at the aliens' crater with a laser weapon stationed in space. This results in disaster...

Based on popular video games of the same name, this co-production between Japan's Square Pictures and America's Columbia-TriStar is said to be the first completely computer-generated feature film ever. Being a 106-minutes special effect, this movie faced heavy critic because of the lack of story and uninteresting characters. I really don't understand that - while the film borrows ideas from many science-fiction classics, it still HAS an interesting story and characters to offer! The animation is simply brillant and revolutionary, and the hole movie is eye candy par excellence. Genre fans should run to see it...

Visitor Q (2001) (V)
4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Another really sick movie made in Japan!, 6 March 2002

Welcome to the most insane family ever. Teenage girl Keiko seduces her own father for money. Son Takuya gets beaten by his classmates everyday and therefor tortures his mother with a whip. Mother goes on a drug trip to escape this everyday hell. One day, a mysterious visitor joins the family, and things become even stranger. Father Kiyoshi plans to film his son while he's being beaten, intending to broadcast the tape. But then, he prefers to kill and rape (in this order) his female partner (who was working at the same TV station) instead. If that weren't enough, he becomes necrophile... Influenced by the visitor, the family finally kind of finds together again in the sickest way imaginable.

After such cult favorites as "FUDOH: THE NEW GENERATIONS" a.k.a. "GOKUDÔ SENGOKUSHI: FUDÔ" and "AUDITION", Japanese director Takashi Miike delivers again with this incredible (?) movie. Over-the-top in every sense of the word, filled with bad taste and crude humor in the extreme, this shot-on-digital-video satire (kind of) is destined to become another cult classic. It is the sixth and final part of a series called "Lovecinema" (the movies don't have anything in common except for a love thematic). Despite the direct-to-video production, "VISITOR Q" enjoyed a short theatrical run in Japan. WARNING: Only suitable for those who are into Japanese extreme cinema!!

Toemarok (1998)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Korean horror thriller with lots of CGI, 10 February 2002

Police forces storm the headquarters of a religious satanic cult. All of the members did commit suicide, except for a pregnant woman lying on an altar when the police forces enter. Before she dies, she gives birth to a daughter, Seung-Hee. 20 years later, the devil tries to reincarnate through the body of Seung-Hee. But she is protected by a priest, his son and a mysterious warrior, Hyun-Am, who's weapon is a knife inhabited by the soul of his lost love. Together they try to prevent Satan from taking possession of Seung-Hee's body and bringing death all over the world...

This horror thriller from South Korea goes where no other movie of it's country has gone before in terms of CGI special effects. Aside from the CGI, there's plenty of gore to satisfy any horror fan. It also stars Hyun-Joon Shin who starred in "The Gingko Bed", one of the best Korean movies ever. "The Soul Guardians" was probably the most action-packed Korean horror movie I've seen to date. Plot-wise, this film is very similar to "End of Days", but it has a faster pace and much more of an original feeling to it. Worthy addition to every collection of horror movies.

Junk (2000)
6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Gory zombie movie made in Japan, 8 February 2002

In an abandoned factory on the Japanese island of Okinawa, the U.S. army secretly developed a serum called "DNX" that is able to bring the dead back to life. Something went wrong and all scientists were killed. Now meet Saki and her gang. They just robbed a jeweller and are on their way to meet some Yakuza for a big deal. Guessed their meeting point? It doesn't take long time and an army of bloodthirsty zombies is after them. Soon everybody is running and fighting for his life...

20 years after the heydays of ultra-gory Italian zombie movies, the Japanese start to produce somehow very similar movies like this one. Heavily influenced by such films as George A. Romero's zombie trilogy, Italian and Spanish shockers from the late 70's and early 80's and the 1992 Japanese film "Living Dead in Tokyo Bay", this is a fun splatter film, and as such it delivers what fans would expect. The gory special effects are done very well most of the time - if you can't stand dismemberment, heads blown into pieces and gut-munching zombies, stay far away! On the other side, splatter movie fans will have plenty of fun with this movie.

63 out of 79 people found the following review useful:
Unique and memorable science-fiction classic, 8 February 2002

Sometime in the future all the forests on Earth have been destroyed. The last forests are transported in giant greenhouses aboard space ships near the planet Saturn. Freeman Lowell, crew member of the space vessel Valley Forge, is an outsider and the only one who cares about what is left of our planet's nature. When orders reach their vessel to destroy the forests, he goes mad. He kills off the other crew members and starts a lonely odyssey...

There's something to be learnt in this movie. More than 30 years old now, it stands the test of time with its message, as mankind is still working on what possibly could end in a scenario like this. Bruce Dern may be overacting in some scenes, but his character is still much more likeable than his crew comrades. Scenery and music are beautiful, fitting well to the dark, moving and unique story. And this is the movie that made "Star Wars" possible. Director Douglas Trumbull and other SFX masters like John Dykstra and Richard Yuricich were chosen to work on "Star Wars" because of the state-of-the-arts special effects they did for "Silent Running". In 1971, they were ahead of their time. In fact, they are easily as good as today's CGI effects, but much more memorable for their time. Even the droids that help Lowell are predecessors of the ones in "Star Wars"... A must-see movie for SF fans and everybody interested in Hollywood classics.

Surprisingly good science-fiction comedy, 8 February 2002

N.Y.P.D. Officer James Edwards gets the chance to work for world's most secret organization: MiB, the Men in Black. Their goal is to protect mankind from dangerous immigrants from outer space as well as to monitor and control all activities of alien immigrants secretly living among our society. As MiB Agent J, Edwards and his partner, K, are after a deadly alien bug that threatens the existence of our planet and has come to earth to assassin the ambassadors of another alien race, the Arquillans. Can the MiB stop the giant bug before the Arquillans declare war on our planet?

I usually don't expect very much from Hollywood anymore, but "Men in Black" was a big surprise. It's an intelligent and VERY funny movie, featuring perfect CGI and special effects and Tommy Lee Jones at his best. The story is original too, something very rare nowadays. My only big complaint is Will Smith's annoying rap music that definitely doesn't belong to a sci-fi movie. Danny Elfman's soundtrack however is great as (almost) always. This is one of the funniest movies ever in the SF genre. And I especially liked the last scene...

5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Sakuya vs legendary Japanese monsters, 2 February 2002

It's the year 1707. Mount Fuji erupts to punish mankind's evil behavior. The eruption causes earthquakes and unleashes ancient monsters and demons to wreak havoc. A young girl named Sakuya Sakaki must fight these demons with the help of her magic sword Vortex and two Ninja warriors. They battle various monsters such as a Kappa demon, the ghost-cat, and dark riders until they face the leader of the demons, a giant spider woman...

This is an entertaining fantasy movie made by Tomô Haraguchi, Japan's Tom Savini and specialist when it comes to make-up and gory special effects. He also worked on such great films as "Capitol Story" and its sequels, the "All Night Long" series, "Otsuyu", Daiei's new "Gamera" trilogy, and did the bloody special effects for Hitoshi Ozawa's "Kunoichi" films. The movie itself is most of the time harmless fun and shows a variety of classic Japanese monsters such as the Kappa demon (river monster), and the ghost-cat, known as "kaibyô" in Japan. And I especially like the cameo scene where a parade of monsters from Daiei studio's classic "Yôkai" trilogy ("Yôkai hyaku monogatari", "Yôkai daisensô" and "Tôkaidô obake dôchû) shows up - those films included all the monsters from Japanese folklore and legend. And there is "Tetsuo" director Shinya Tsukamoto in a supporting role. The special effects, done by "Gamera" effects maker Shinji Higuchi, are top-notch. Both the miniature work and CGI combine very well. Unfortunately, the story is very, very simple, and the movie is a bit too childish. But it's fun to watch anyway.

The Isle (2000)
2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Bizarre and disturbing movie, 31 January 2002

A mentally retarded young woman is living near a remote small lake. She makes her living by supplying useful goods, fishing tools and prostitutes to the fishermen and sometimes sleeps with them for money. The fishermen are living in very small cabins floating on the lake. One day, she falls in love with one of them. Besides this, one of the call-girls becomes attracted to him and visits him in her spare time. But he has a dark past and came to this remote place to commit suicide. After an unsuccessful try involving fishing hooks (!), he is saved by the retarded girl, who became jealousy of the call-girl and then kills her by accident...

Here we have another strange Asian movie that somehow plays like an arthouse horror film. Director Ki-Duk Kim wanted to make a metaphorical movie about isles and love ("a woman's isle is a man, a man's isle is a woman"). He creates a mysterious and fascinating, but at the same time disturbing atmosphere in this movie about poor people living in their own world like on... an isle far away from modern civilization. On the other side, undefendable shots of gruesome violence against animals and some almost unwatchable scenes involving fishing hooks make for a hard experience to sit through, and plot-wise too just not everything made sense in the intended way to me. Bizarre and very different from "common" horror movies, I'd still recommend "The Isle" to everyone interested in Asian cinema.

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