Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Audition, Not for the Squeamish!

Not for the squeamish? Ha! That's an understatement! In what may be Harvey Weinstein's biggest nightmare, from Japan, we have 1999's "Audition." There is the final 30 minutes of this film, which I will keep quiet about, as even the description isn't for the squeamish. Remember, all you lonely and vulnerable souls out there, this film is a warning. When the heart speaks, the brain turns to peanut butter. Perhaps the more seasoned among you may take "Audition" (directed by Takashi Miike) as a metaphor for what 'the perfect gal' is likely to turn into once you get to know her.
Shigeharu (Ryo Ishbashi) is a lonely widow yearning for female companionship. Since his wife's demise seven years previous, he has put together a successful talent agency. His friend and partner, Yasuhisa (Jun Kunimura) suggests a phony audition. A casting call for a new TV show, but in reality, this audition will allow Shigeharu to view dozens of Japanese beauties and select one. In short, he selects Asami (Eihi Shiini). Mysterious, beautiful, and apparently in need of someone like Shigeharu. Ignoring red flags that come to light in a cursory background check, he dates her and the two get very serious.
Now the second half of the film. Yes Asami is beautiful and of course, mysterious. Okay, we see her sanity is...well...perhaps non-existent. Unfortunately for Shigeharu, he learns this too late, probably because his hormones over-ruled his brain! What we, and Shigeharu find out about Asami is that she is...a demented and sadistic monster.  All you divorced guys out there, I don't want to hear it! Too late. What follows...oops, I promised I wouldn't go into that. Suffice it to say, "Audition" may have been the inspiration for "American Mary." Syringes, pins, dissection, torture, and amputation will grace the final half hour of "Audition."
I have always warned my family that anyone can appear sane and normal for a few days.  Give it a week, and watch out. Like Shigeharu, by the time a week has passed, phone numbers have been exchanged and a symbiotic relationship has seized you. If you dare, take a look at "Audition." You have been warned. All you guys approaching middle-age, heed this film as a warning. When a beautiful 24 year old beauty seems intrigued by you, she may really only be intrigued by your internal organs.


  1. This is a very disturbing movie & yet you can't turn away from it. Favorite scene is when she is in the living room & the trash bag starts moving. Piano wire anyone?
    Good review, Christopher.

  2. Great review mate, for one of my favourite 90s Horrors & I also think it's one of the best in critical terms. It can be appreciated as a mystery horror or jet black satire on the stereotype of subservient Japanese women/male Japanese attitude.
    Miike deliberately almost tests your patience with his almost too leisurely pace before inexorably drawing you in until its cringe inducing finale.
    Also a cloth sack has never been so scary.
    Great review again mate, Takashi Miike is one of my favourite directors of all time and a true auteur imho.