Japan, producing 78% of the world's werid shit, since 1954. So they say. I've been hearing things about this movie for a while, and watched it on a double bill with Battle Royale.
It's about a widower (Ryo Ishibashi) whose friends keep telling him he should remarry. Eventually, he gives in, setting up a fake audition for a movie so he can meet some women. It's a kind of slimy, pervey plot, but anyway, he does meet a girl who he really likes (Eihi Shiina), and starts going out with her. Unfortunately, she has a few problems.
The film starts out seeming fairly innocent (okay, it was pretty creepy, but it was like a Sunday picnic compared to the rest of the film) and gradually descends into a total fucking nightmare, culminating in a horrific and surreal torture scene involving needles, eyeballs and a piece of wire which can "easily cut through meat and bone". Fuck.
I watched the last half hour of the film through my fingers, quaking with dread and remained in a state of shock for some time afterwards. I was afraid to be alone. The movie really freaked the bejeezus out of me.
It was so frigging quiet, too, really biding its time, never being too obvious or tacky. All that nightmare stuff was really disturbing. I'm still not entirely sure what parts of the movie were real and which parts weren't.
Seriously fucked up, man. Scared the living shit out of me, honest to God. I'm not that hard to scare, but it does take a little effort on the part of the filmmakers.
I haven't seen too much of Takashi Miike's other work other than "Box", his segment in Three Extremes. That freaked me out too. I kind of want to see some more of his stuff though. Although maybe not in rapid succession.
Directed by: Takashi Miike. Written by: Daisuke Tengan, based on the novel by Ryû Murakami. Starring: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki, Renji Ishibashi, Miyuki Matsuda.