Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

PUT THAT CAMERA DOWN! DOWN! DOWN!






Reasons Never To Own A Camera In Japan

I've once again been shirking my duties on movies I should be into because <sigh> I just don't wanna. I need to review Hunger Games but the premise of a dystopian (fancy word for fake world that is scary or something we don't want - hmm, maybe not so fake after all) society that requires sections of its, uh, citizens to give up certain young ones by taking a name from a fishbowl (Really?) and having them fight to the death is horrid - not. Uh yeah folks, the US has done it for years - it's called the draft and we've lost as many as 175 MILLION people in wars because of it since 1900. Drawing a couple of names from a bowl sounds pretty damn tame.

But I digress as usual. I decided to make a sort of Japanese movies collage but after the first two found a really dumb pattern - for all the pictures you always see in the cliche' viewings of a Japanese touring group, they can't take pictures for sh--- uh, for nothing. At least not without invoking a grudge, a curse, or just something damned unpleasant.


Sex and/or violence is 'pink'? Hmm...
The first couple of movies are from something called the 'pink genre' and actually didn't have cameras in them - not the ghost taking kind anyway. I had to look that genre up - never heard of it before. Quoting wiki, it 'is a broad cinematic term used to categorize a wide variety of Japanese films with adult content. This encompasses everything from dramas to action thrillers and exploitation films, and softcore pornographic features. The so-called pink movie is part of an ongoing (and evolving) cycle of films rather than a specific genre.'


In other words, 'pink' movies are from Japan. Like The Slit Mouthed Woman (2005) - not to be confused with later and better (read more horror, less clothes being ripped off) movies like A Slit Mouthed Woman and Carved. They are all based on a Japanese urban legend (oh, they've got TONS of those) that scared people so much in the late '70s they even had escorts for kids to walk to school. The female ghost was supposedly defaced by a jealous lover by being slit from ear to ear. When she walks alone and comes upon someone, she asks if she's pretty and removes her facial mask. If they say no, it's death by scissors. If they say yes, you live but your face is also carved like a turkey. One is supposed to be ambivalent to save oneself from either fate. Uh, how? Never mind. 

But this movie only uses her as a device to, uh, break up couples while they, uh, yeah. Why did I bother? One I thought it was the movie about the stupid ghost (That would be either A Slit Mouthed Woman or Carved) and two the soundtrack had me in such a fit of giggles through the 70 minute movie... I don't know what you find sexy (Don't tell me, okay?), but the sounds of slurping soup and lunchmeat hitting the counter is not my idea of great sound effects... just as well. There's really no plot and no reason to watch this.


Kuronezumi aka Black Rat (2010) Japan 

This is also a pink movie by the wiki standards. This is about pure revenge, which means that yet another Japanese schoolgirl (they're usually girls) committed suicide 'cause people are bullies around the world and teenage suicide doesn't skip any continent. It's one of the reasons I wear my WEIRDO MOSHER FREAK armband with pride - it helps one of the many foundations that are cropping up in response to bullying and suicide of teens around the world. This particular band is in remembrance of a teen who was actually killed just for what she looked like...


A real person, a real victim of bullying...
The story is paper thin but a group of eight students are looking to do something for a festival. One, Asuka, proposes they do the dance of the seven rats. Sorry, that's the story. She even fashions rat masks but they ridicule her to the point of suicide. One day they all receive a text from Asuka telling them to be at the school on a certain night. Would you go? I say since they showed up, their deaths are pretty much on their heads if they're that stupid. 'Nuff said.

And that brings us to cameras. More to the point, photos. The Japanese have this weird thing about photos. We mess one up and a shadow, light streak or shadowy... thing appears, we shrug, adjust our settings and try again. Not them. They have a massive tizzy - it's a ghost photo! Umm, what? Okay, that's not really fair - if one looks (thank you Google) you'll find a whole slew of ghost photos from just about everywhere, including the States. But American movies? Well, I found The Shutter, but it was made by the same producer who made The Grudge and The Ring. Yup.


Again, just an example. Is it a log, a well-placed cloth or... ?
Basically all these movies have the same theme - you can't understand a damn thing and the pictures are not scary. They usually are from different causes, the usual causes for Japanese culture - grudges, curses, revenge and fear of offending ancestors. And badly dubbed. One movie was so bad I giggled through the thing because not only was the movie description completely wrong, the dialogue was so bad there was really no telling exactly what was happening. My favorite lines? "Don't pack too many stuffs. We move to a narrow place. So we can't have many stuffs."

Too many stuffs? Then leave those stupid cameras behind, you'll just screw up the photos and make more movies with them anyway.