Archive for September 8th, 2009

Sasori (2008)

Pretty Nami lives a cosy life with her cop boyfriend until one evening a gang of assassins break into their home whilst he’s out collecting his father and sister. They want to kill the father but that’s not enough for them. They want Nami to make a choice – kill his sister or watch them kill her boyfriend. It’s not hard to know which option she decides to take.

She’s sent to the slammer where she becomes a target for the top dog there. Nami is given advice that in order to survive she has to learn to fight and that she does. At the end of one brutal session Nami has destroyed the top dog and her cronies. For doing this she’s sent to hang by her wrists outside to freeze to death. The following morning her corpse is bandaged like a mummy and dumped in some woods by the prison guards. There a man collects her body and revives her before teaching Nami the art of fighting by sword and kung fu.

Once her training is complete, Nami seeks revenge against those that destroyed her life and to find her old boyfriend who’s had his memory wiped.

Sasori is a poor remake and re-invention of the Japanese 70’s exploitation movie Female Prisoner 701 Scorpion and it doesn’t even come close to matching the greatness of it. Miko Mizuno who plays Nami is no Meiko Kaji that’s for sure. The acting I have to say is weak. I don’t even think the sword fights and martial arts are that good considering the over-use of wires which makes some of the fights look so far-fetched. If you’ve seen the original movie I wouldn’t bother with this one. It’ll only disappoint you.

Sadako’s Rating: 2 out of 5

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Red Room (1999)

4 people desperate for big money enter a new risky reality show card contest called The Forbidden King Game. Up for grabs is 10 million yen. All 4 have a reason why they want the money so bad. The rules of the game are simple enough. The 4 are placed in a small dimly lit room which has a cage in it and video cameras on the ceiling recording their experience. There’s also a box full of props which they can use on each other. They have to play a game with 4 cards: one card has a crown symbol on it whilst the others have a number from 1-3. The person who draws the crown card after they’re dealt out gets to nominate 2 of the others players to enter the cage and do whatever she/he commands. Getting the crown card is a big plus in this game. Anybody can quit at anytime or if they don’t carry out the commands of the crown card winner they’ll be disqualified. The last one remaining gets to claim the cash prize. It starts out innocently enough with two women kissing each other but the challenges set out by the crown card winner begin to become sadistic and vile!

Probably one of the most controversial low budget extreme movies to come out of Japan over the past 10 years. It’s very sick, depraved and twisted involving sexual humiliation, objects being thrust into places where they shouldn’t be and something being bitten off! It just goes to show that some human beings will do anything to get their hands on some money and will plumb to any depth of depravity and cruelty to win the contest. This movie is definitely not for everyone and it does have a bit of a reputation about it but this isn’t the sickest Japanese movie I’ve seen. Even though it’s got some gross out scenes I was entertained by it. The sequel is supposed to be even more disgusting. Guess I’ll have to check that one out too!

Sadako’s Rating: 3 out of 5

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