shaved_ape (shaved_ape) wrote in badmovieland,

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Japanese Movie Madness

I had a few friends around today to eat drink and be merry. We planned to watch some of the more bonkers dvds in my collection and chose a Japanese theme for what became a triple bill of nonsense.
I started the proceedings with the question "What do you want to see first - cute, scary or weird?" Debs, my former flatmate answered "All of those, in that order." Tom, a work colleague said "No, all of those at once." Nobody likes a smart-arse. "Okay, I think I can do that" was my response.

The first film I chose was House - a late 70's horror and supposedly Toho studios answer to the success of Jaws. Seven teenage schoolgirls being sweet and hanging out provided the cuteness. A haunted house plot line provided the horror. Just about everything else in the movie provided the weirdness. Many of the visual tricks used in the film have become very familiar to most movie fans but Im sure it was pretty revolutionary for Japanese cinema at the time. I really have never seen anything quite like this movie - and neither had my friends. Its not a great film but its unique and as mad as a box of frogs, the entirely unnecessary singing cat sequence in particular.

The second movie was the film I had always intended to share. Big Man Japan is the story of a man who can turn himself 100 meters tall and fights monsters Godzilla-style to defend Japan. Most of the film is shot documentary style, with interviews with the guy in question. Everything about the character screams of a life that is in decline. His wife has left him and taken their daughter, he is chronically underpaid and being the 6th generation Big Man Japan he has seen the status and popularity of the position slide into public apathy and hostility. These are inter-cut with a series of monster battles of decreasing success which does nothing to halt his general decline. The monsters are all imaginative and hilarious (although the CG is a little cheap) and all in all it is a surprisingly well put together and thoughtful movie, but still quite mad.

We closed out the triple bill with Tokyo Zombie. Ive recently reviewed this so I wont go into detail. Watching it in the company of fellow Shaun Of The Dead fans it was even more clear how much the second act of this movie really sags - though it was still enjoyed by all as far as I can tell.

When I get ny copies of Calamari Wrestler and Executive Koala back from my friend who has borrowed them we plan to do this again but in the meantime we may have to watch some movies that are marginally less nuts.
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