Monday, January 5, 2009

Koji Shiraishi brings the gore with “Grotesque”

by Chris MaGee

Here’s a chicken-or-egg argument for you: is Koji Shirashi’s new torture porn film “Grotesque” inspired by Eli Roth’s genre-defining “Hostel” or by such Japanese predecessors as Takashi Miike’s “Audition” and the infamous “Guinea Pig” films? I mean Roth felt so indebted to Miike that he got him to do a cameo in the first “Hostel” film, but regardless of who or which country may be able to lay claim to the dubious honour of being the originator of films people getting sliced, diced and mangled it certainly looks like Shiraishi, who previously helmed such lesser J-horror films as 2004’s “Ju-rei” and 2007’s “Kuchisake-onna (Carved: Slit-Mouth Woman),” is hopping on the blood-and-guts for blood-and-guts sake bandwagon.

Here’s the plot: nubile young AV actress Tsugumi Nagasawa plays nubile young Aki who’s waiting for her boyfriend Kazuo (Hiroaki Kawatsure) at a coffee shop. They’re watched by and then followed by a creepy fella named Tachikawa (Shigeo Osako) who knocks them out and chains them up in his basement where he proceeds to torture them. Let’s go through that again just in case the sophisticated plot twists threw you: nubile girl and her boyfriend get knocked out, kidnapped and then tortured. Doesn’t exactly sound like “War and Peace” does it?

You know that no matter how lame this sounds that it’ll get a Region 1 DVD release faster than you can say “Tokyo Gore Police,” but if you just can’t wait head over to Nippon Cinema who have the one minute and fifteen seconds of nauseating footage that is definitely NOT WORK SAFE plus a trio of lovely stills like the one above for you gore hounds to check out. Have fun!

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