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MPD Psycho 1 (Miike Takashi 2000)


Categories:

MPD: Psycho 1
[Multiple Personality Detective 1]

Genre: Psychotic Thriller

review in one breath

Truly STRANGE goings-on permeate Tokyo in this eerily beautiful yet mind-numbingly mysterious psychotic thriller. By the deservedly notorious director Miike Takashi, this tale will undoubtedly capture both your intellect and imagination from the very start.


[UPDATE: I had reviewed this film long before the US release of volumes 2 & 3, a fact causing obvious and unrestrained sarcasm in the review below. PLEASE NOTE however that all 3 versions have now been released in Region 1 DVD. I have decided not to modify the following review despite this change in accessibility, though I have added a "prologue" linking to the other reviews. ~mongip]

prologue

MPD Psycho is a six-episode series directed by Miike Takashi which originally appeared on Japanese TV. The entire series has now been made available on 3 separate Region 1 DVDs, with each DVD containing two episodes. Below are links to the entire series:

MPD Psycho 1
MPD Psycho 2
MPD Psycho 3

intro

I want you to take a moment and ponder the value of reviewing a film which is "Part One" of Three, which contains all the mysterious and bizarre clues but in essence makes not a single step toward resolving the mystery and basically ends in "To Be Continued..." (but without actually telling you "To Be Continued".)

If you conclude the effort may be pointless, then ponder the brilliance of the distributors who saw fit to release only Part 1. Add to that the fact that the US dvd cover graphic makes no mention that it is a "part" of anything but instead from all appearances depicts itself as the whole kit and kaboodle.

Now, I was already familiar with MPD Psycho and was aware that its six episodes are generally released in three volumes, but had I NOT possessed this prior familiarity, I would no doubt have been rantingly frustrated at being left hanging at such a mind-boggling point as where these two episodes conclude.

So mind-boggling in fact that I doubt there is much point is attempting to seriously describe the plot. So allow the following to suffice.

story

After shooting and killing his psychotic nemesis point blank, Tokyo's genius "profiler" is quickly placed on administrative leave for an undetermined period of time. This discipline, however, seems wholly unnecessary as the profiler now apparently forgot who he was and thinks he is somebody else. Meanwhile, truly bizarre "killings" are taking place, consisting of the surgical removal of the top of the cranium and a lovely flower carefully planted into the grey matter of the dazed victim.

Elsewhere, a second series of murders continues, in which all the victims are pregnant women whose near-born child is stolen -- and it appears they are all deaths by suicide. (??) If that isn't strange enough they discover each victim possesses a small bar-code branded on the bottom of their left eye-ball.

When the crescendoing whackiness of this serial crime wave proves too much for the posturing suit and tie cops, they call out the big guns -- the genius (killer) "profiler" who is now an amnesiac... or was that simply a clever ploy???

THE END.

Lights please. Make sure you don't forget anything as you exit the theater. Have a great day.

verdict

Well, from what I saw I would certainly have watched volumes 2 & 3 had they been released. (Sheesh.) The plot is quite complex (or perhaps simply a postmodern exercise in chaos theory applied to a screenplay) and the cinematography is quite stunning. Miike's polished cinematic approach here is just a step below that of Three Extremes: Box (which I consider to be his best visual work).

As to whether you wish to see simply episodes 1 & 2 of a six episode series, I leave totally to you.

Version reviewed: Region 1 subtitled DVD. Available through mainstream US venues.

cultural interest violence sex strangeness
Director Miike Takashi's rather polished made-for-TV series. Graphic gore is present but all pixelated out. Thus it seems the US release contains the same level of censorship as the TV series itself. No sex or nudity depicted. Hopefully Parts 2 and 3 can score higher in this category. This is a rather fascinating and strange thriller told in often stunning visuals.

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