Thursday, February 12, 2009

DEAD GIRL WALKING




I like Asian horror movies. Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, China, South Korea (especially), and of course, Japan. I could list hundreds, and before this blog dies I probably will. They are just so good. They aren't only gore fests like American shizz that rips off the ideas a year or two later, they are usually emotionally involving which makes the horror of the situations even better. It's even a shame they have to be labeled Horror, since they are usually ordinary stories, fiction, with some scary elements.
Last year on Crunchyroll (it's since been pulled and is now at Asian-Horror-Movies.com) I saw the movie Dead Girl Walking, [Kaiki! Shinin Shôjo] a wonderful shorter movie from Japan. This is the second of six short stories in the collection entitled Hideshi Hino's Theater of Horror. (Hino is a famous manga artist. I haven't followed any of his work as they are difficult to find scansillations of online, but I do follow similar themes, Like BERSERK--one of the best manga's of all time imo). Although each of the six films in this collection is directly based on specific characters and scenarios within Hino's horror manga, each is also the work of a different director.

So this school-age girl is watering a flower in her home and suffers a heart attack. But then, though she is dead, she hasn't actually stopped living. her family was sad for her, but now they are getting disgusted with her. They keep her in a plastic-covered room because she is rotting, covered in bandages to stop her arms from falling off. Her family no longer lets her sit with them at dinner time they all avoid even looking at her. They hate her because she's dead but not gone, I guess. Mean. I would be totally stoked if my loved one was dead but not dead. I would be glad they were still there to be with me, smelly or not.

Her mom is a total C U Next Tuesday and convinces dad it's time to burn their daughter to death. They even bring in, if I remember correctly, a huge container of lighter fluid.


So dead girl runs away, is on a road somewhere wrapped in a blanket because her arms keep falling off or something, and this guy stops and picks her up in his car to bring her to some freekshow, where she shuffles about in a dance for high paying customers all cast in shadowy gloom, only bit of their clothes showing, until her guts slop out on the floor.


Afterwards, the man drops her off again on the same road and she walks to this big empty parking garage, where mom and dad find her and try to kill her again with the lighter fluid. They somehow blow themselves up, and she lands, a black scatter of cloth over a white landscape, unharmed, and continues crawling on. THE END MERRY CHRISTMAS.
Filmed in black and white, but for the bright yellow flower at the beginning, it's a beautiful film both viscerally and visually and emotionally. (It's low-grade though, I mean like, these people had zero money, and for this to come from that is fucking awesome). I dig this kind of shit anyway so maybe I'm biased, but these sad movies with a splash of blood makes more sense to me than a plot about seduction or affairs. I don't think it's being "dark" to like this shit either. Isolation and wanting to belong, being turned away and hated by those whom you loved can touch everyone. It makes fucking sense. It's something you can identify with in so many levels.






In an explanation of the movie, I have found this:





In Shinto and Buddhist (particularly Tibetan Buddhist) traditions, one's conscious experience of "existence after death" entails two things, namely (1) the change of loved ones into a for more formidable and potentially malevolent form (as in the Kojiki), and (2) an increasingly difficult path of terror and trial on the way to re-birth (as in the Tibetan Book of the Dead). These two basic religious sensibilities seem to explain and provide an intelligible structure to this (otherwise unintelligible) storyline.

If you can find it, WATCH IT.

1 comment:

mandingo said...

This is an amazing site; I look forward to coming back to visit from time to time.

Let me ask you; I just finished watching 'Marebito', and don't have any friends with my tastes to compare notes.

What did you think of it? If you have reviewed it already, I apologise and I will do some research when I have some time.

Keep up the good work...