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Archive for October 2nd, 2012

Baptism Of Blood (1996)

Matsuko Uehara is a successful actress who hides a blue birthmark on her face with plenty of makeup. She quits acting as she finds it hard to hide the mark. The story shifts many years ahead as Matsuko is now older, is seen limping and has a 15 year old daughter Sakura who is a talented pianist under the tutelage of a man called Tanigawa. He is trying hard not to lust after Sakura despite the fact that his wife is about to give birth to his child. Matsuko and a mad doctor have created a machine down in the depths of the mansion where she lives which can transplant brains from one person to another. Matsuko has plans to transplant her own brain into the body of her daughter. Although Sakura tries to escape when she finds out, she is eventually caught and goes through the horrific ordeal of having her brain removed. Matsuko wakes up in Sakura’s body and sets about seducing Tanigawa who doesn’t take that much resistance to fall for her charms. Matsuko plans on emptying her account and running away with Tanigawa to France but then strange things start happening to her. Sakura’s forehead starts developing a small blue birthmark (the same on Matsuko’s old face) and the police start snooping around………..

This is a very strange mid 90’s J-horror about a disfigured woman on a quest for wanting an unblemished and young body which isn’t that good if I’m being honest. The title is somewhat misleading as there’s no baptism as such. The ludicrous plot which has elements from movies by David Cronenberg has some awful acting, crappy pacing and a ridiculous ending with a twist which comes from nowhere. It’s like the scriptwriters couldn’t think of a way to finish the movie so they came up with a lame excuse of a climax. It’s also quite dull. The only saving grace of the movie is a marvellous bloody scene featuring the brain surgery which is performed by a big machine. It’s gory, extremely graphic and very well done. A pity the rest of the movie is a bit of a mess. Rie Imamura who plays Sakura is a very stunning young woman who you think that butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth if it wasn’t for the fierce angry looks she makes at times. Even though she makes for some good eye candy, it doesn’t hide the fact that her acting is terrible. The story does have some eroticism and perverse themes. When you think about it – seeing a minor sleeping with her piano tutor is just plain wrong even if it’s an adult brain in her body! Is it any surprise that director Kenichi Yoshihara hasn’t made any more movies after this clunker. I suppose the criticism he got for this movie put him right off from directing anything else.

Despite a plot which I thought would be interesting, this was a major disappointment in my books which only got worse by the mediocre ending. Give it a go if you want to watch something which has some unitentional hilarity about it. Poor.

Sadako’s Rating: 2 stars out of 5

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