Genre: Slasher / Supernatural Horror
review in one breath
If you had the pleasure of reading my extremely insightful and witty review of Shudan Satsujin Club, you may recall my suspicion that a general (Japanese) societal hatred of cute, high school-aged girls may be afoot. After watching Akuma ga Sumu Ie 2001 I am now convinced that nubile japanese females may soon be an endangered species.
The complete title for this film is (take a deep breath) Akuma ga Sumu Ie 2001: Bishojou Idoru 14 nin zansatsu. And I quote: [The] House where Evil Lives 2001: Massacre of 14 Young, Beautiful Idols.
WHAT? For crying out loud! If there's one thing this planet needs more of, it is most certainly "Young, Beautiful Idols". There is some serious bizarreness going on in Japan nowadays.
Yes indeed. Within the framework of three (unrelated) tales, a whopping total of fourteen cuties are literally mown down. And the manner in which they meet their demise is nothing short of a gruesome slasher fest. In classic fashion the cuteness of the girls is intentionally emphasized prior to their brutal fate. Such "cuteness" is generally established (among the male populations of the audience) through director Miyashita's skillful and prolonged filming of our characters romping around in bikinis or various stages of undress. Once such cuteness is thoroughly established, the psychotic serial killers are introduced and what follows is a very rapid decline into the quick deaths of all the "young, beautiful idols" via graphic gore.
Though 90 minutes in length, the "film" does absolutely nothing in terms of plot development. Of course, it develops those (vitally important) portions of the plot where the girls must make their way to the beach for a romp in their bikinis, or where the next victim finds herself in need of a hot bath, or where some modicum of justification is made in order to film a high school girl putting on panty hose, etc. But as regards any attempt to clue the audience into WHY these girls are being slaughtered, the film's silence is deafening.
The following paragraphs may constitute "spoilers".
For example, one episode begins with a shot of a very young boy, looking at his presents on Christmas eve 1970. His toys consist of an impressive bug collection and a strange looking santa clown doll. Right then and there, the boy decides to add to his bug collection by picking up a live cricket, piercing it with a long pin, and affixing the squirming specimen onto the board. The boy then turns to the doll and begins pressing the remaining needles into the doll's mouth as the camera shifts between scenes of squirming pinned cricket and needle-mouthed doll. The story immediately jumps to "12/24/2001" and our little boy, now a grown berzerkoid, dresses up like santa, stalks and kills a crowd of young girls, and (graphically) pulls each of their tongues out with a pliers. Surely you can see the connection between the cricket, the doll, the girls, the pliers, and collecting tongues! RIGHT? (sheesh.)
I'm not quite sure why there seems to be a rising trend in Japan of portraying graphic brutaliziation of high school girls. I personally do not find it entertaining and am at a loss as to why otherwise mainstream production houses such as Broadway put this on their label.
On a side note, the title Akuma ga Sumu Ie 2001 literally implies three things:
- First, the film's content is somehow related to a "house" (Ie)
- Second, there is an "evil-ness" or "Devil" occupying that house
- Third, this [d]evil lived in the house in the year 2001 (apparently before selling and moving to a better neighborhood?)
But let me just clue you into the fact that there is no "house" in this film. You logicians can hopefully figure out the rest without my aid.
Version reviewed: Unsubtitled VHS
|Not much cultural relevance. Most, if not all, of those appearing in (or directing) this film will NOT appear in any other notable (or negligible) film.||Grisly portrayal of young womens' meaningless death seems to be the primary emphasis here. Weapons of choice include axes, knifes, pliers, glass shards, telephone cords, and speeding automobiles.||Although the film goes to great lengths at making these fourteen out to be "young and beautiful idols", no recourse to nudity or sex is made.||The only strangeness here is an increasing willingness in Japanese film to hack little girls to pieces for no apparent reason other than their being cute.|