As you can see reading through this site I have recently experienced a new freshness in my horror viewing. Most of this is due mainly to my purchasing of a computer. The internet has allowed me to explore many areas of the horror genre that are not usually accessible through everyday life. I have found the newsgroups to be especially helpful in allowing me to the received recommendation on movies I should watch. Thanks to all you have helped to enrich my horror viewing experience.
One area that I have really gotten into the last couple of years is that of Asian horror. I have always been a fan of“chopsocky” movies with some of my favorite stars being Bruce Lee, Sonny Chiba, Jet Li, and many, many more.
It wasn’t to my recent interest in Jackie Chan, that I really began to explore the variety of Asian cinema. I picked up two books: “Hong Kong Action Cinema” by Bey Logan and “Sex and Zen & A Bullet In The Head” by Hammond and Wilkins to find out more about Jackie Chan and was surprised to see some nice coverage on Asian horror. These two books offer in-depth coverage and I recommend them both. Both are must read in you are truly interested in finding out about the mystery and beauty of Asian horror.
Recently I added two other outstanding books to my collection written by Thomas Weisser. They are entitled “Japanese Cinema Encyclopedia“ and “Asian Cult Cinema” and both come highly recommended. Tom is also the editor of the magazine Asian Cult Cinema, a monthly publication which is the definitive resource on Far East films. Check out Asian Cult Cinema’s website for more info.
As always, please e-mail with suggestions, criticism, or comments. Again, I think Confucius once said, “he who thinks he knows everything, knows nothing”, please help educate me as well as others about the beauty of Asian horror. Thanks.
As the film begins, we can see a doctor and nurse hovering over the lifeless body of a beautiful woman. The doctor then turns and picks up an of a vial of green toxin labeled “DNX” and injects it into her dead veins. Moments later as a sense of failures begins to settle in, a sign of life beckons from the corpse, but not as we know it.
The scene then shifts swiftly to a robbery going down as four would-be thieves try to make their getaway. After securing the score of a lifetime, they quickly try to find a place to dump their booty and tend to their wounded. A quick call to the local Yakuza boss leads them to agree on meeting in an old factory on the outskirts of town.
As they wait for their big payday to arrive, their leader Jun begins to explore the remnants of this decaying place when he hears some strange noises in the distance. When he wandering further along its’ abandoned corridors, he is attacked and killed by some cannibalistic mutants who feed on his flesh. Shocked by this event, the remaining robbers turn to flee for their lives only to be confronted by the Yakuza and his men, who haven’t come bearing gifts.
Just as the double-cross is going down, swarms of zombies descend on the bad guys. Fortunately, Saki and Akira are able to escape, but atlas greed is a much stronger motivating factor then life itself, so they decide to head back for the jewel. Just when a thing seems bleak, the cavalry arrives, or in this case, the US Army, to save the day or have they????
I don’t really know too much about this film beyond my recent viewing of it other than that I highly recommend it to all. “Junk” (Dead Soul Hunting) is your traditional zombie flick with slow-moving zombies, shots to the head, plenty of gut-munching plus it pays tribute to many great films from years gone by such as Zombie, Return of the Living Dead, and Dawn of the Dead. Finally, this film is action-packed with tons of great explosions and gunplay, so when you mix in the army of the dead it kinda plays out like a ” John Woo meets Lucio Fulci” film which should be a wet dream for any gorehound.
The Ring Story
It all starts when a struggling single mother and television reporter Reiko Asakawa (Matsushima Nanako) makes a connection between the recent death of her niece and a story that she is covering about a strange videotape. It seems that a rumor has begun spreading around local schools that a group of teenagers in a nearby town watched a strange videotape and as soon as the tape ended the phone rang and told them that in a week they will all die and at the end of that week all that saw the tape died.
Determined to find out if her niece was one of the teens that watched the tape Reiko enlist her ex-husband on a search for the tape and the source of the tapes curse and meaning. Soon her curiosity gets the better of her and she watches the tape, only to see a strange series of images and what appears to be a strange long-haired woman. After extensive research, Reiko discovers that the strange woman on the tape was a young girl named Sadako who was killed because of her strange ESP powers. Reiko realizes that the key to her own survival and to the mystery of the tape lies in the death of Sadako.
“THE RING” is based on a series of horror novels by popular Japanese horror novelist Koji Suzuki (“The Japanese Steven King”) and was adapted for the screen by director Hideo Nakata. Inspired by earlier Japanese Ghost tales like KWAIDAN( 1964) and UGESTU (1954), Nakata s crafted a rather simple story into a dark and eerie ghost tale.
It is the building tension and well-timed plot revelations that make this potentially slow and dull film into a horrifying and unforgettable horror thriller. Unlike most recent horror-fare from Japan “THE” RING has no blood and all death occurs off-screen. Director Nakata says this was an inetial movie so the film could concentrate on scare instead of shocks.
Perhaps the most terrifying thing about “THE RING” is it’s spectral William Sadako, her few on-screen moments are so horrifying that in in the Far East the character is referred to as the “Asian Freddy Kruger” Unlike the Nightmare series and other icon bad horror films, “THE RING” is more about the myth of Sadako itself, a mysterious exploration into the life of a poor girl controlled by others who are driven insane and forgotten, only in her death can she have her voice heard. It is this slow discovery of an innocent driven into total madness and the creation of pure evil that traps the viewer in it’s horrifying grasp and than releases it sending the viewer into an unforgettably frightening conclusion. —MR. ROBBIE
Evil Dead Trap Story
A strange tape arrives for the host of an amateur video hour and when she pops it in the VCR, she is shocked by the scenes of violence and an overwhelming sense of evil emitting from it. She knows that if she can prove the existence of a true to life snuff film not only will it boost her career, but also her ratings. Nami (Miyuki Ono) rounds up her crew and heads out to determine the truth.
When the crew arrives at a desert factory a weird sense of eeriness settles in on them. They then split up to search for clues, but in the shadows, a dark figure moves along stalking each of them. One by one, the killer hunts them down and makes them die slowly in the most bizarre and gruesome of ways until only Tami is left. Later she is befriended by a mysterious young man who happens to be searching for his little brother, but just as he leads her to safety she realizes that she must go back in and revenge the death of her friend or is it to get the story??? She cannot be prepared for what awaits her and neither can you. Buy this film!!!!!
The film goes deep in examining the distinct differences between good and evil (ala Ying and Yang), while, at the same time, showing how they both can co-exist. It is only when one gains the upper hand that that true chaos ensues as evident in the film’s shocking conclusion. Director Toshiharu Ikeda’s “Evil Dead Trap” plays out like a surreal nightmare overflowing with vivid images of violence much in the tradition of Lucio Fulci.
Also evident in the filmmaking process is the influence of Dario Argento (Tenebre), David Cronenberg (Videodrome), and David Lynch (“Eraserhead”). “Evil dead Trap” is even more exceptional in its’ use of mix media (film and video), well before “The Blair Witch Project” and its’ Goblin inspired soundtrack written by Tomohiko Kira, which helps in accenting the macabre and terrifying atmosphere of the film.
This film was followed up by two unrelated sequels, which I haven’t had a chance to see yet. Ikeda did return to direct the third installment entitled “Evil Dead Trap 3: Broken Lover Killer”. Finally, this film was recently released here in the States on DVD by Don May at Synapse Film and he should be congratulated for providing us with a classic example of Japanese horror cinema.
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