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Discussion in 'Asian Horror and Other Pleasures' started by KillerCannabis, Apr 1, 2003.
I'm merging this thread as this film's already been discussed on the board......
UZUMAKI sucks? Hardly. Its the best Asian horror film out there as far as I'm concerned.
I finally watched this last night. I was really enjoying it until it ended. when it ended I was left wanting a little more explanation to tie things together, but I guess the whole point was that the movie is kind of a spiral that absorbs such things and just goes aound and around...
Deaddevilman I was keeping my eye open for these dead bodies...I saw all the hidden vortexes but where are the bodies?
as I mentioned earlier (in the first thread before merge) I liked it. It is a really great idea, but I found too many of the scenes to be totally cheesy and laughable, (If I remember right, the Dad's spinning eyeballs, the mom's eyes morphing when she screams outside, as well the dad's voice laughing hysterically as he is a tornado going into the lake). I dont know where these scene's came from, but myself and the whole audience burst out laughing. Other than that it could have been a really creepy and dark movie. But it was very original, and cool.
I guess I am just not into the supernatural thing. I liked the Ring, but wasn't scared by it. Nor will I ever purchase it as it doesn't hold any replay value for me. Uzumaki's more intense scenes did not go as far as I hoped and by half way through it, 3 out of 4 of us did not seem to care about what was going to happen next. In a situation like that, eye candy would be the back up plan but like I said, not enough blood/gore.
Ring 2 fell flat for me for the same reasons you mention above, x666x. I normally don't buy the supernatural stuff if it's there for it's own lame sake (asking the audience to blindly accept the existence of ESP or ghosts "just because").
To me, though, films like Uzumaki and Ring really use the supernatural as fantasy, devices to demonstrate themes, like obsession in Uzumaki, or maternal sacrifice in Dark Water.
I watched it tonight and felt much the same way. I thoroughly enjoyed it till the end, but was left with an unsettled feeling... unsatisfied. I think this was probably because I read the manga first, and more things happen in it, and the girl has a brother whose story becomes an important part of the ending. Also, I thought they neglected the reporter's story. They showed him doing research on the town, but it never went much further as far as I can tell. In the manga, he is also an important part of the ending, where you see the actual town devolving in its own way, much like the townspeople.
Also, the relationship between Kirie and Shuichi was ended rather strangely, compared to the manga. I thought the manga had a much better ending for the two... definitely a more final feel and not just him
turning into a horrible, twisted spiral person, reaching out and scaring her away after all they'd been through together
. I don't want to spoil the manga for anyone who hasn't read it.
I feel as if either they ran out of money at the end or possibly, scenes to explain what I felt I was missing wound up on the cutting room floor. Who knows, though. The end just left me wanting more. Maybe if I hadn't read the manga first, I wouldn't have known what to expect at the end.
Still though, I thought it was a good movie, worth seeing again for the unique storyline, twisted imagery and various subliminal cues you may have missed the first time around. Seek out the manga, by Junji Ito, to find out the rest of the story.
P.S. - Shuichi kept reminding me of Crispin Glover for some odd reason. Maybe it was just his hair and his strange manner.
You're not alone - I thought of Crispin Glover right away when watching this movie. I LOVE this movie. I rarely watch a film more than once in a few month period but watched this twice in three weeks and like it even more the second time. I agree that the storyline with the reporter wasn't well done - dropped as quickly as it was brought up but I DID like the ending.
I can definitely see watching this one again, and I did really love the way it mostly stayed true to the manga for a good portion of the movie. I just wish the end of the manga could have been depicted in film. I think it would have looked amazing if they'd have given it a chance, and I know they could have done it well. This is the one major flaw in the movie for me. It's not enough for me to dislike the movie by any means, but it just makes me wonder what could have been if they'd have followed it all the way.
For those of us who havent read the manga - how does it end?
Okay, I'll try to answer that, using my books because my memory sucks. Basically, there are quite a few things which were not included in the movie (I assume for time's sake) that could have enhanced it and given a better clue as to the mystery of the spirals. I'll mention a couple of these in the spoiler tags, so that anyone who wants to read the manga and not be spoiled won't be. I hate spoiling things, but I feel a little better about it using the tags.
There's a weird storyline about Shuichi's discovery of a new spiral galaxy in the second book, as the mystery grows. One memorable part in the same book shows that a bunch of women have gotten pregnant at the same time and they all have to be hospitalized because of mosquito swarm attacks. As a result, there's a lovely part where they're in the hospital and this huge group of pregnant women (including Kirie's cousin Keiko) are feeding off of people to supply their monster fetuses with blood, smeared all over their faces and everywhere - "GIVE ME YOUR BLOOD." The massacre at the hospital was covered up and the babies were born all in a row. The babies have an odd swelling in their bellies and the nurses find them irresistable. We find out that they're sprouting these weird mushrooms with spirals all over them from their umbilical cords, and that the nurses and everyone have been eating them and are quickly addicted. There's further explanation of this in the manga, which I won't get into. This would have been pretty interesting to see on screen.
There's also a huge point that was neglected in the movie... Kirie has a little brother whose story is a good part of the ending. Now, the town is already in utter chaos and Kirie, Shuichi and the little brother are trying to escape and not having much luck because the whole town has become a spiral by this point. Houses have moved, new roads formed... everything leads to the center of the town, which is now Dragonfly Pond. Dead bodies and the barely living are piled into these shack houses like sardines in a can, and the stench is amazing. Dead and alive are entwined, as they've all become spiral people, and the living cry out in pain. As they're travelling along, they encounter a rogue group of people who are already exhibiting signs of becoming snail or spiral people, who are feeding on someone who had been cooked. They broke the shell open and offered Kirie and her group some of the meat, and they finally break down and eat some because they're starving. Kirie realizes they're crazed for the meat, contaminated by the spiral, and tries to hide her brother, who already has a bump on his back like that guy in the movie did. They eventually find out, fully prepared to eat the kid raw, and she has to find a way to help her brother escape before he becomes food.
Anyway, they start following the row houses, which have fused together now, and they lead to a deep, dark center which used to be Dragonfly Pond. The water has receded and all that is left is a very long, spiralling staircase. Kirie and Shuichi go down together and eventually lose track of time because they've been going down the stairs for so long. They're attacked by a spiral person and Shuichi falls down the hole, so Kirie travels on without him. Eventually, the staircase ends and you see a huge, spiral tower, with a large snail shell on top. She falls and winds up at the bottom which is littered with the dead, and looks up to see a city of spirals. There is a strange light and it seems that the dead are slowly turning into the ruins. She finds her mom and dad and then Shuichi, who is still alive but cannot walk. The cursed ruins are alive and they're building themselves, because their builders are long gone. Kirie stays with Shuichi, holding his hand, and they both become spiral people, entwined in an eternal embrace. Time stands still as the ruins have moved up to complete the spiral, ending the curse until they awaken again when the next town is built on its grounds.
I hope that's enough detail and I hope it wasn't too rambling, but I had to cover two books that didn't really seem to be part of the movie at all. I actually left quite a bit of detail out, and of course nothing beats actually reading the manga and seeing the visuals.
Just watched this one yesterday and loved it. I think it's bumped BATTLE ROYALE off of my #1 Asian film spot due to its sheer oddness and interesting plot. While it wasn't remotely frightening, I just had a lot more fun watching it than I do with some other films. It creates a great atmosphere and there are some moments that are just insanely great (
kid falling down the stairs, Kirie dreaming of finding the dad all coiled up
, etc.). I can see myself watching this one over and over. I had heard that there were spirals hidden in every scene (couldn't find them in every scene, although they were in quite a few), but I had no idea about the dead bodies. Sounds like another great touch.
Well, after suffering the horrible R3 release for a long time, I finally saw the R1 disc from Elite. In another thread someone mentioned how the Elite transfer was subpar, and also had a green tint. let me echo that, hugely disapointed that a film such as this - where the visuals are paramount - should be saddled with a less than stellar transfer.
Anyway, despite that, I thought the film was a bit of a letdown. It was surreal and bizarre, but definately not scary. It got better as it went on, but it passed up on all kinds of potential - for instance, the snail people. That was great, for what, 20 seconds?
Oh I don't know, the sum is less than the parts somehow. Some good things, but not enough. I did notice tons of spirals (in clouds above peoples heads, in the rafters of houses etc), but the lame transfer kind of took the fun out of it.
As for the extras - you get a 10 minute piece that is mainly an interview with the lead girl - and a 5 minute video which is lame. Anyone who bought this for the extras will be disapointed.
Doesn't approach being my favorite asian film then. Didn't hate it, I just wish it would have had a more apolcalyptic feel to it. As it is, it's just kinda weird, in a music video kind of way. I wasn't ultimately satisfied. Oh well.
I don't know. I think it was Cujo who mentioned this one to me and after watching it I really dug the movie especially the ending.
The snap shots had an apocalyptic feel to them like the end of Night Of The Living Dead.
The goofy stuff and the gore was about even in that it didn't get too gory or too comedic. I don't know, I really liked this one. Its up there with Bio Zombie, Verses and Stacy.
For me, this worked better as a comedy, and not a horror film. Since the horror elements failed to deliver, there were bizarre moments (in a pythoneque way) that gave a chuckle. I can see watching it again, approaching it for laughs.
Those final shots were interesting, but didn't add anything for me.
I've still to see Stacy - I've never found it at a decent price
Yeah, I believe I posted that right after I had finished watching the movie. For the price of the disc, the picture quality was really poor imo. If it had been a cheaper release I guess I wouldn't be complaining... the extras were also lousy. The green tint was really annoying and obvious as the movie is pretty dark... and instead of black shadows you see green shadows.
Anyway, I loved this movie and it's one of the few Japanese horror films I like.
Not to bring this off topic, but I thought I'd list the horror films I enjoyed:
2) Battle Royale (I guess this is a horror film)
4) Hiruko the Goblin
6) Kairo (this one was an acquired taste... I had to watch it twice to like it)
8) Rubber's Lover
Everything else I've seen I haven't enjoyed... I just don't like Japanese ghost movies I guess (Ring, Ring 2, Ju-on).
I feel the same way. Very much enjoyed this one! But it's not for all tastes.
I for one don't think the transfer is too horrible. I absolutely love this movie and a $15 price tag isn't all that bad (at least that's what I found it for at Media Play nonetheless, which usually high prices are normal). It's clear of grain and I have no clue as to what the original color palette looks like so.... I'm definitely content with the transfer given us. BTW, Jak (I believe I traded a copy of this to you, what'd you think?).
I finally got to around to watching this last night on a recommendation from this forum and I have to agree with the title of this thread. As I said to my wife this morning, "I guess like Hollywood, Asia can make bad movies as well". I just didn't get it I guess.
I thought the whole concept of a town becoming obsessed, or possessed by a spiral is just rediculous.
Sure, there are some unique deaths in the film but that does not make a horror film for me.