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, June 18, 2013

WAIT WHAT? UM HEY WHAT IS THAT? WHAT DO YOU MEAN 'ALL OF A SUDDEN'?





Negatibu Happi Chenso Ejji (Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge) (2007) Japan

Yes you read that title right. And the movie makes just as much sense (if not a little less) and takes a hell of a lot of head scratching to get through. Assuming you make it to the end. I have several friends that are just super happy massive fun fans of Manga (that's a pitiful attempt at a joke). If you don't know what that is, Manga are comics created in Japan. 

The medium includes works in a broad range of genres: action-adventure, romance, sports and games, historical drama, comedy, science fiction and fantasy, mystery, suspense, detective, horror, sexuality, etc. In Japan, Manga is HUGE. It's like American comics and porn smushed all together. Soft porn. Lots of drama. And every Japanese girl no matter what age MUST wear tight white blouses, short short skirts that show their underwear, long socks and pedal pushers. I think it's a national law or something.

So when a Manga becomes a movie, one must expect something like, say, the United States using comics to make movies. Or TV shows, like The Walking Dead. Some work, some don't. I've seen both the cartoon and the live version of Blood: The Last Vampire which was quite good even if I didn't understand everything. This movie probably was very enjoyable to those who were familiar with this story first in Manga form. I think.

What made this movie so... weird to me that there was really very little backstory. Movies have done that before, but usually when there's, say, a to-the-death battle between a schoolgirl and an chainsaw wielding maniac, there's usually a reason, right? Not in this story.


First we meet Yosuke. He's kind of the anti-Japanese kid - instead of being super focused on school, family, career, etc. he's just hanging out, totally apathetic to everything around him. Some of that may have to do with the death of his best friend (in a motorcycle wreck, not suicide for a change) but the point is, he's a frizzy haired lazy boy who's pants hang waaaaay too low and wears one of those damn chain wallets.

One night he meets a beautiful girl, Eri. She gets pissed because he insists on calling her 'Eri-san' and follows her around. That cramps her style because, each night, she battles 'Chainsaw Man' to the death... uh to the okay-we're-done-see-you-tomorrow. When he asks why this is the backstory: One night she is out staring at the moon when ALL OF A SUDDEN it starts to snow - but the snow hangs in the air and does not fall. ALL OF A SUDDEN down from the moon (yeah, all the way from the frickin' moon) comes this hooded fellow with this chainsaw that's huge with two mufflers, yet he holds it with one hand. 

Since he can start it by pushing a button there must be a battery hidden in that sucker somewhere. So ALL OF A SUDDEN she discovers she has super powers - she can leap high in the sky, do all sorts of incredible acrobatics, and use shurikens that she has strapped all over. Each night they do battle so her grades pretty much suck too.

The 'duels' always end the same - she throws those shurikens, he swipes them away with the chain saw, tries to kill her, and she manages to get a shuriken into his exposed heart (which is not covered by bone, flesh or clothing for some reason). Beaten but not dead he leaps back up to the moon. I am NOT kidding. Once Yosuke decides he has to 'help' her (she does much better on her own) he frequently finds himself on the wrong end of the shurikens and gets cut. Duh. 

Oh and this chainsaw is THE DULLEST chainsaw on the planet. I know more than a few loggers, and they wear steel toed boots which is a plus or a lot of them would be missing toes. But THIS saw is soooo dull she can fight him off with a long squeegee, a golf club, a wood club, hell she even stood on the damn thing and it didn't make a dent in the bottom of her shoes.

And they're all tired. He's tired of school, having to move to another town to be with his family, having to join his father in the family business. She's tired of living by herself (her family was killed), supporting herself by some unseen source, going to school during the day and fighting a psycho moon dweller at night. I got tired just watching them. Yosuke, as a gift to Eri, gives her Mithril... sorry, wrong story. He gives her a chain mail top to wear under her clothes, 'cause they're available in every Japanese Wal Mart.

Now Yosuke is convinced he's a total loser (he really is but that's just MY opinion) so he doesn't believe he deserves to be around Eri (and get cut up every night by those damned shurikens) but show up he does, gives her rides on his bicycle, and watches her fail, night after night. She discovers that the sadder she gets, the stronger Chainsaw man gets. Sigh. And the movie has almost an hour to go.


To break up the cycle of 1. school 2. fight 3. bored 1. school 2. fight 3. bored, for some unknown reason we're treated to a music video featuring Yosuke, his roommate and 'dead' friend Noto (Blonde Japanese guys are kind of creepy, ya know?) and I guess this is a turning point for Yosuke for some reason because he becomes determined that he will die instead of Eri. He loves her. I guess.

The final battle: we start with snow, guy coming from moon, her shurikens, Yosuke with his weapon of choice, a unipod (for cameras but with one, ah skip it). But she's REALLY sad so she's getting her butt kicked. Yosuke, for whatever reason, had 'borrowed' a crotch rocket - sorry, a motorcycle from his teacher (?!?) and after racing his 'dead' friend, he races into battle, using the motorcycle against Chainsaw man. 

We get a comical look inside the chainsaw as he revs it up (the pistons are skulls - DUH) and then whammo! First Eri gets the business end of the chainsaw edge, then Yosuke rams the motorcycle full into the monster, breaking the chain and wrapping it around the monster's neck. He grabs Yosuke by the neck. Yosuke hopes to die but the monster basically says (yeah, he talks) 'Nope' and poof, he's smoke. And it's over. IT'S OVER? WHY? Oh yeah, because it's ALL OF A SUDDEN. DUH.



In the end Yosuke stays put so he can be with Eri (her Mithril - umm I mean her chain mail blouse saved her life) and realizes that life sucks but it's his life and he's going to live it. Wow. How freaking depressing.