Two Gaijin Thumbs Way Up – I

Occasionally, I browse the forums on Rottentomatoes, where everyone’s an armchair film critic and rates movies, as if it mattered to the rest of the world what he/she thought about ‘Madagascar’. For example, in this deep thread about Colin Farrell’s and Vin Diesel’s acting credentials:

I figured it’s time I rated my own list of movies, and I wanted it to be about ones that come from a certain portion of the world: East Asia. We’ve all seen the Ringu’s and the Grudge’s and the Dark Water’s that get remade, but there’s a whole slew of them that are just too disturbingly strange to be forgotten.

Here’s my favorites:

1. ‘Audition’: My first Takashi Miike film. What starts out as a romantic melodrama, turns into an absolute nightmare halfway through. Miike uses an interesting gimmick at the end. In horror movies, there’s usually a scene that’s extremely scary, but turns out to be a dream. In Audition, he does the reverse, and uses an idyllic dream sequence in the midst of … well, you have to watch it.

What I learnt: When a cute Japanese girl says ‘Kuru Kuru Kuru’ to you, STAY AWAY!
My Rating: armchairs out of 5

2. ‘Ichi the Killer’: Miike’s obsession with the Yakuza continues, and the movie’s filled with blood and gore, the way Quentin Tarantino’s movies are not; the blood-letting is not fun to watch. Here’s a review that summarizes the movie well.

What I learnt: Man-seed can be put to creative use in the opening credits sequence of a movie.
My Rating: out of 5

3. ‘Visitor Q’: If you’ve watched this , you can be sure that all other exploitation movies made in the future will pale in comparison to the number of taboos depicted and broken in this single one. The strangest thing about Visitor Q is that the actions of the characters make perfect sense in the logic of the movie. Beneath the jaw-dropping scenes, lies a logical solution to a family crisis.

What I learnt: Necrophilia, coprophilia, incest, and a lactation fetish can make a perfectly sweet ‘family’ outing.
My Rating: out of 5