Parasite Eve (1997) Poster

(1997)

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7/10
weird, haunting
cherold24 December 2003
This is a really odd little movie. I suppose it's a thriller, but the thriller part is just in the middle. The beginning is about obsession and is slow moving but fairly compelling. Over half way through it moves into thriller territory and has some genuine chills. But the ending eschews the usual thriller big finish for something haunting and rather beautiful, making one feel this is more a love story than anything else, but a really strange one. The movie has terrific atmosphere and is really pretty original, and while it is sometimes a bit on the lethargic side I thought it was fascinating.
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Better than expected
uncleseven12 September 2001
This is a movie that recently received a release on DVD from ADV Films. The DVD is letterboxed and very high quality, offering subtitling on the original soundtrack. This was originally a made-for-television movie in Japan. It is now getting its US release.

The movie is actually very impressive, especially from a biological standpoint. Many terms and concepts within the storyline are actually workable, at least early in the film. This may seem like a minor point, but after watching numerous films that don't bother to do any research about the subject manner, it was nice to see someone pay attention to some technical details. Now, again, this is only for the first half of the film as the second half delves into some fairly weird biological twists.

If you are looking for a monster movie, this is not it. If you want martial arts, or a bullet-ballet, this isn't that kind of movie. However, if you are interested in seeing a film that has better-than-average acting, a decent, albeit strange, relationship, and a good sci-fi storyline, this one will entertain. The best science fiction has always been based upon concepts that originate from science fact. This script, taken from the novel by Hideaki Sena, understands that idea.

I have never read the novel, nor have I played the video games based upon it, so I cannot say how well they all relate. I have read that the video games are actually sequels to the novel, and that some fans of the video games expecting a similar product in this movie have been disappointed. It has been suggested that the movie's large amount of dialogue plays havoc with those who have a short attention span, but to make the movie a hack-and-slash flick would have been a big mistake.
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Very well done..if only the novel was available here.
MidnightHeaven12 October 2002
Being familiar with the game, it was surprise to find out that 1) it was based on a novel that would count as a prequel, and 2) it was well thought out and drove home the originality of such a villain living within us.

Unlike the game, this is more tame and has no need for action and bullets blazin'...not that there's anything wrong with that :0). It's just that in here, it give a more scientific (yet easy to understand) approach to the series' overseas (in many ways) origin and climax, and also shows that, as cheesy as it sounds, love conquers all. It is a little slow at first, but there are things that keep your interest, so yes, it really is a good watch, even if you're not a fan of the game, or didn't know it was a game at all. It's a rare find, but it's worth a try even once :)
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2/10
Forget the movie, order the book.
jesterification27 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I'm a fan of book to movie releases. Regardless of whether I've read the book or not, I enjoy spotting the differences and considering how well the movie conveys the gist of the plot and how the actors portray the characters. This time round however, I was sorely disappointed.

My first contact with the Parasite Eve series was during the Playstation game's release in the 90s. Enthralled by the bioscience driven story, with the chill of the idea that your own body might rebel against you, I began looking up the original novel that started it all. At the time, the book remained untranslated, but I managed to find a graphic novel version translated to Chinese at the local comic shop. The plot, essentially a prequel to the game, completely blew me away. It explained so much of the game's background in a style of brutal science fiction horror.

This movie, an adaptation of the novel, abandons most of that. While I can forgive the fact that the special effects aren't exactly 'up to standard' given that it is a film from the 90s, I cannot forgive the utter mangling of the plot and the bad acting. I honestly don't understand how they managed or decided to drag the film out to two hours long while failing to convey even half of the original story.

Instead of the evenly paced bioscience thriller where the rush to stop Mitochondria Eve actually *fails* and her scheme is only foiled by a miscalculation on her own part, a frightening salvation of mankind only by a single chromosome; the plot is inexplicably dissolved into a two hour long, woodenly acted angst-fest of a man who forgot his wedding anniversary and greatly regrets not spending time with his wife. The story of the mitochondria rebelling seems to take second place to this, especially in the anti-climatic 'grand finale' where he somehow stops the independently acting Mitochondria from carrying out their plot because for some reason, in the process of making their host fall in love with him, they have come to develop feelings for him too (or imply that 'Kiyomi', his wife, is still 'in there', which is even cheesier and more unbelievable). To top it off, the movie even fails to provide the aftermath of what happens to the other characters, leaving behind plot holes aplenty.

All in all, if you really want to something that stays true and keeps to the spirit of Parasite Eve, just order the book off Amazon, they actually have it translated now.
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Great Sci-Fi Film
Macabro13 June 2003
Parasite Eve is a great sci-fi film. It is intense, suspenseful, dramatic, romantic and quite different than any other film in the genre. The characters are well developed and the story line never fails. The score of the film is brilliant; it transmits the sadness and intensity that the characters are feeling. There might be a version in English of Parasite Eve, but I think, like in any other foreign film, the original language adds a lot more to the movie. So in this case Japanese is more effective and the film should be viewed in its original sound. From start to finish the film grows in intensity without ever failing to keep the audience entertained wondering, imagining, and trying to anticipate the conclusion. Overall, besides being a "scientific" sci-fi movie, the main ingredient through the film is love, loss and the endless possibilities after...

5 stars *****
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8/10
Mitochondria, the modern day Tingler.
musashimaru21 February 2002
This movie could well be a modern version of William Castle's THE TINGLER. But in this case, it's not a parasite hidden in the human spine which wants to free itself and have its own life but rather the mitochondria in the human body. "Mitochondria" is a term of cell biology. They are self-replicating organelles, bounded by 2 membranes, that are found in the cytoplasm of all eukaryotic cells and produce cellular energy in the form of ATP via the oxidative phosphorylation reactions.

The theory of PARASITE EVE is that mitochondria are very much a species with their own intentions. And all those years since evolution spat out the first humans, they were waiting for the day when they could finally break free. This day is NOW, and their outbreak of the human bodies would surely mean the end of all human life on earth. It's up to one lonely and desperate Japanese scientist to stop them after his beloved wife was killed as it was long-term planned by the mitochondria.

Like in many other modern Japanese horror and science fiction movies, the pace of PARASITE EVE is slow and often melancholic. But the daring storyline of the movie and the tension which is built slowly but surely until the climatic finale is worth watching anyway.

Japanese cinema has become an interesting alternative for lovers of the fantastic film genre. The way how Japanese films tell their story differs a great deal from Hollywood productions. If you have a chance to see PARASITE EVE, go see it or even buy it on DVD or VCD. If you're not an action-only fan, you won't regret it.
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7/10
You don't need the game to enjoy this film..
RobynBelfry7 January 2005
I really enjoyed this film. I'm a BIG fan of the game and it was interesting to see how they blended elements of the original story into the storyline of the SquareSoft title.

It is an interesting concept... and perhaps one that could have been explored a little move fully. The ideas that the film presents are original, and displayed in a pretty original way. I chalk most of my "huh?" factor (mostly in relation to character motivation) to the difference in cultures.

Some of the effects are pretty groovy, too! It's a little slow moving at first, but it does start to pay off towards the end. Hang in there.

And then go and play the game!
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10/10
I miss films like this
nop_inc4 September 2003
completely not want i expected, I played the first video game, so i was expecting what was in the game. To my surprise it blew the game out of the water. I'm not much of a fan of subtitled films, but I couldn't stop watching. It had nice special effects and they didn't go overboard like many of the films out nowadays, plus it has a great storyline, also unlike many films nowadays. I recommend buying this film. Don't rent it, don't borrow it, find it and buy it. trust me you'll love it.
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9/10
Excellent movie!
Lars-5821 July 2000
I got this title on Video CD without any prior information on it. I didn't even know what genre it was. After seeing it it's one of my favorites!

The plot evolves very subtly for about the first half. Then through some fluid storytelling it all changes into a sci-fi mystery. Beautifully shot and very good acting. Almost dreamlike settings mix with harsh laboratory milieus. This contrast is in parallel with the story that first evolves around the love of life and later the sorrow of death and some really weird consequences.

If you get the chance to see it and you like romantic thrillers this is one for you.
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7/10
Slow ... but still kinda worked for me
Seifer0067 April 2009
I had stumbled across this film after playing parasite eve 2 (so many years ago). I thoroughly enjoyed the game and thought they should make a movie, thinking that it would be far more interesting than the resident evil movies and so on. That was when I found the film, but deciding that there were no copies to be found in Australia, i gave up the search. I now get US DVD, I got this one thinking I would give it a try.

To begin with let me say, do not watch this movie expecting it to be like the square soft versions of the Parasite Eve franchise, this movie can before, and while it has a slower pace than the rest of the installments, I still believe that it works very well.

The story begin with a man who is a scientist, and on the eve of he and his wife's anniversary, she falls victim to a horrible car crash, she is pronounced, brain dead. The husband reluctantly agreed to turn off her life support and give her organs away, on the condition that they give her kidney. The organ goes to a young girl (who is apparently the mother of Aya Brea, the central character of the game, though there seems to be some debate amongst fans) and the young girl begin to experience strange occurrences.

The film is very deep emotionally compared to most others in the J-horror genre, there are, however, some freaky bits such as Mariko in the hospital. One thing that should be mentioned is the special effects, they are quite good for a Japanese movie made in 1997.

One of the downsides to this film is there are moments where the tension simply turns to tedious and while I believe overall the film turned out OK, there is a point, in the hospital where I just tuned out. The final climax however does build up well, leading to the final, very verbal resolution, which I thoroughly enjoyed, it was very well executed. The final scene is very emotional and is a very solid finale.

In conclusion this movie is worth seeing, while it is not perfect, it should entertain movie go-ers and fans of parasite eve alike, as it gives them a chances to see the events leading up to the game.
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6/10
Fairly interesting Sci-Fi film
rosscinema12 July 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Japan in the last decade has made some pretty challenging horror films that require your constant attention and while I'm the first to admit that this is clearly not one of the best it's still an interesting story that's worthy of being checked out. Story is about a scientist named Toshiaki Nagashima (Hiroshi Mikami) who works with cells and he has a theory that ancient surviving cells called Mitochondria symbiotically live within other cells that inhabit our bodies. Toshiaki's wife Kiyomi (Riona Hazuki) is involved in a traffic accident and declared brain dead by doctors but Toshiaki learns that a young girl named Mariko (Ayako Omura) needs a kidney transplant. Another doctor named Tatsuro Ohno (Goro Inagaki) convinces him to get his wife's kidney but Toshiaki tells him that he wants Kiyomi's liver.

*****SPOILER ALERT*****

Tatsuro transplants the kidney into Mariko and Toshiaki starts to culture Kiyomi's liver cells in his lab and before you know it the cells in the culture grow into this gelatinous goop that takes the form of Kiyomi. Meanwhile, Mariko is having problems of her own as her uterus is changing and Toshiaki learns that the Mitochondria need Mariko to give birth to a new life form!

This film is directed by Masayuki Ochiai who gives the viewer a film that is very visually stimulating and in one shot during an operation the camera is looking up through the incision at the doctor! This story is taken from a novel by Hideaki Sena but it also became a popular video game and some of the events that take place are from the game itself. Ochiai shows patience in the way that he tells this story and at certain points the film does tend to drag with a few scenes that go on a bit long. The story itself I found reminiscent of the films that Hammer Studios use to make in the 1950's and 1960's and I think both Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing would be very much at home working with a script like this. The film benefits from two performances and the first is from the radiant Hazuki who is so beautiful that we understand her husbands obsession with trying to keep her alive. But the best performance comes from Mikami who is a very good and respected actor in Japan and it's interesting to watch his character go from bookish doctor to obsessive scientist and then to a state of desperation trying to save the world. This is certainly nowhere near as intriguing as "Audition" but it does play well if your a sci-fi buff which I am so on that merit it's a film that deserves a look.
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Decomposing Meg Ryan
tedg11 November 2007
This is one of a class of horror films, that seems to have begun with "Eyes without a Face" (1960), then "The Brain that Wouldn't Die" 1962, followed by dozens of instances, including the "real" movie Embryo of 1976.

The form is pretty well established.

The first part features a male doctor involved in radical research. We incidentally learn of that research in offhand pseudoscience terms. The main focus of that first part is to convince us of his absolute devotion to a woman, his obsession. Its never love in the way we have it in the world, but selfish obsession built on top of movie romance. That way we tap date movies, and imply what happens in some cases after the wedding.

The second half reports on the result of this obsession applied to "keeping" his love through applying the tools of his research, and is a sort of tragedy. In all the cases I know, the results are shaped by what cinematic effects are possible at the time. So what we get is a collection of terror that depends on you shifting into movieland. The first half of the movie tricks you into that because we so readily buy into the movie romance world. One could almost say we are a world of stories that become obsessions. Then that investment we make is (with our agreement) turned on us as different cinematic horrors are brought out. Its movie-centric folding at its simplest.

How does this one do? Pretty well at the first part, I think. It takes an hour and seventeen minutes, which will probably tax your patience. But its done competently enough. The problem with any such first section is that it depends on movie clichés, because that's what movie romance is all about: here dreamy mooneyed stuff. It worked for me.

The second part didn't work. I think it was perhaps because it was so obviously a grabbag of what cheap software could do. The pseudoscience is supposed to give you a bridge, something to use as an internal excuse. But if you know anything at all, it doesn't stick here because it is so, so very bogus.

But its still instructive. Failures are as good as successes.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
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Not for the video game generation.
esser32611 May 2004
~~~I only vaguely remember the playstation game this movie is related to. I have never read the original novel. However, I have sat thru the experience of this DVD, & I must say that it is an interesting film indeed. I like the fact that it takes some real, tangible scientific data, & uses it for the basis of a well-written, well-acted piece of cinema.

I thought that the relationships were kept simple enough to allow the audience to draw their own conclusions, yet were complex enough to keep the audience guessing as to what those conclusions should be. This gave a dynamic to the relationships between the Drs, & their respective patients, as well as the links between all of the main characters.

The camera & light work was exceptional, & I look forward to watching the movie again, just so I can pick one aspect to focus on at a time, allowing me to absorb them systematically.

I recommend Parasite Eve to anyonwwe,without a doubt is one of the best foreign films I have seen in a long while.

A++
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8/10
Emotionally captivating
larrylare8 April 2014
The first half of this film is perfectly executed. It really takes a toll on you emotionally because you really get a chance to feel for toshiaki and all of the things he's going through.

In the second half of the film (when the "horror" portion starts) things take an odd twist. I have really mixed feelings about this half because in a way it didn't do the first half justice but at the same time it was an essential piece in bringing the two halves together.

I also don't understand why some people are saying the film was slow? The first hour of the film was CRUCIAL in developing the plot and characters for the second half.

All in all I really liked it, if you can appreciate the romance and the weird plot this movie has to offer I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I did.
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10/10
Romantic science-fiction movie.
Pollack8417 April 2011
I've noticed that many people associate the movie with a series of RPG video games with the same title. In fact you will be very disappointed if you set about watching it with strong conviction that you are about to see some action movie in Resident Evil style.

Instead, plot of Parasite Eve base on a very romantic, warm story and intelligent science-fiction elements. In it's roots it tries to answer a main questions: what is the true love and what makes it really true and unique? Before I watched the movie I had thought about how the director will present all that I've read in Hideaki Sena's book. Now, all I can say is that Mr Masayuki Ochiai did really great job. The movie is naturally less detailed but even though some changes in plot has been made it sill maintain this one of a kind (romantic, intelligent) climate of the book. Moreover whole story includes very interesting and true scientific facts about evolution of cells (and humankind).

In my opinion "Parasite Eve" is excellent movie with remarkable music of Joe Hisaishi (known mostly from films of Takeshi Kitano and works for Ghibli studio e.g. Totoro and Spirited Away).

I would recommend watching this film, first of all, to people who like romantic, maybe a little bit sad stories, which stands at high moral level and are raising audience's spirits. I strongly believe that those who like intelligent s-f stories, based on real scientific ideas will also appreciate and enjoy this movie.
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7/10
Beautiful but confusing film...
ccw2687 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This film was beautifully laid out, the plot being subtle and uncontrived, the characters acting a bit outlandish at times, but still with a realism that allowed the forward movement of the tale. Overall, I'd recommend this movie to anyone willing to commit a few hours of their time to the intense psychoanalysis of Japanese story telling needed to grasp even a small portion of this film. Needless to say, I'm still clutching my head and crying for my mother.

*SPOILERS BELOW* The only thing, in my mind, that detracted from this movie was that the ending scenes (within the kidney patient's hospital) were so unbelievable - even from a SciFi perspective. Why would anything/anyone wait anxiously for 10 billion years for their evolution, only to throw it all away for some weirdo with flaming arms? o_O
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Not for the video game generation.
esser32611 May 2004
~~~I only vaguely remember the playstation game this movie is related to. I have never read the original novel. However, I have sat thru the experience of this DVD, & I must say that it is an interesting film indeed. I like the fact that it takes some real, tangible scientific data, & uses it for the basis of a well-written, well-acted piece of cinema.

I thought that the relationships were kept simple enough to allow the audience to draw their own conclusions, yet were complex enough to keep the audience guessing as to what those conclusions should be. This gave a dynamic to the relationships between the Drs, & their respective patients, as well as the links between all of the main characters.

The camera & light work was exceptional, & I look forward to watching the movie again, just so I can pick one aspect to focus on at a time, allowing me to absorb them systematically.

I recommend Parasite Eve to anyone,without a doubt is one of the best foreign films I have seen in a long while.

A++
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2/10
Incredibly slow
tsimon586 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I like slow and arty movies just fine, but I'm sorry that this doesn't qualify. I rented the movie because I liked the video game and the underlying scientific elements are the same. The movie, however, has an incredibly slow pace. After the first half hour, my husband and I actually turned up the playback speed, so we watched the last 90 minutes in 30. The subtitles stayed on the screen long enough for us to read them and the movement of the actors and the plot seemed to be the right speed. So I guess that says that we were impatient and the movie was tedious. I also think that the plot, while reasonable in principle for most of the movie, takes a wrong turn at the end and gives you a love-conquers-all resolution that just makes it too easy to win.
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2/10
this movie has reached the pinnacle of unfortunate abysmal stupidity
papple0430 January 2007
the only reason that i give this movie a 2 rather than a 1 is because it is so amazingly terrible that it carries comedic value along with it. the story is so absurd, and i mean absurd in a bad way, that the very mention of it makes me, and anyone else who knows about it, explode into a pitying laughter for whoever decided to undertake this masterpiece of failure. i mean really, think about it, a person's mitochondria??? rising up in rebellion???? that belongs in a comedy or a comic book, not a serious movie. they took it seriously like there was a scientific possibility that this could happen. that approach may work for something that actually sounds cool, but this strayed away from that possibility the moment the writer put his fingers to the keyboard. again i say that the only purpose that this movie serves is to laugh hysterically at; and i meant that in the worst possibly way
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4/10
letdown
movieman_kev22 October 2005
I originally bough this because of the (in hind-sight fairly loose) connection with the Playstation game. But it's much more based on the book that the game is a sequel to than the game itself. I found the plot line dull and execution of said story all the more unremarkable and mundane because of it. This film about killer mitochondria and the undying love of a scientist who has lost his true love rather slow (it drags a lot) when it isn't being just straight out confusing. The acting is good, but it was all for naught as the special effects are lacking and the story is tedious. A missed opportunity, as I'm not a fan of video game films, yet this film WOULD have been better if it were just that.

My Grade:D+

DVD Extras: Theatrical Trailer; and a trailer for "The Hypnotist" (which looks MUCH better than this film, i should've watched that instead)
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