Thursday, December 21, 2023

Bakemono, Tokyo Monster and Airbnb Carnage

Black magic!  Here in the US we use a Ouija board and giggle...that's our black magic.  In a society thousands of years older than ours, black magic actually is horrific.  We have a Japanese monster movie today.  A film so gory and shocking it will make 1999's AUDITION  look like Rated PG-13 fare.  This one will also get rid of any ideas you have about saving a few dollars (or Yen) by booking one of those Airbnb places.  For this, Marriott and Hilton will be grateful.  Oh yes...I know what you're asking.  A Japanese horror film?  Will there be young Japanese women, some in schoolgirl uniforms, being beset by tentacled monsters?  Oh, boy...I have the film for you...if you are man enough to take it.  Like I said, the gore f/x and shocks will come at you in full force.  Today we look at Doug Roos' shocking and taboo gorefest, 2023's "Bakemono."

Mitsuo (Takashi Irie) rents out a room at one of those Airbnb places.  The room is dark, smelly, and unkempt.  Eek!  It also has a monster problem.  As our film opens the monster gets a Japanese babe (Hanaka Mizuki) in the room.  The room keeps getting rented out to people who all seem to have strife in their lives.  The body count in this one will be as large as Tokyo (a slight exaggeration). Mitsui, as we come to find out, is into black magic.  He has conjured up some demon that needs to feed on the innards of the guests...usually sultry Japanese women.  Mitsuo rents the room...the monster does the rest.  The monster?  Grotesque and slimy!  It has things that stab and impale, and tentacles that grab and tear.  The fiend seems indestructible.  Many of the kills will be heartbreaking...but all will be gratuitous in the gore department (Mr. Roos also did the f/x).

Mr. Roos introduces us to the victims and we like many of them.  We even are sweet on many of the women (nice casting job, Mr. Roos).  Don't get too attached...the monster is hungry.  Mitsuo is sort of like Dracula's Renfield.  This Mitsuo has a wife (Sayuri Nakata) and at times looks like a normal guy.  Hidden behind this normalcy facade is something more devilish than the monster he conjured up.  So many horrific vignettes are included in this one, but I was especially moved by the two babes, Anna (Marilyn Kawakami) and Risa (Miki Nomura).  Their plight is heroic and we pray it won't end in bloody'll have to see the film to see their fate.  What unfolds over the last half hour of this film will clearly fill you in on who this Mitsuo actually is and why he is doing all these horrible things to Japan's most beautiful women.

This is the goriest and most shocking film of 2023 and maybe of the past 10 years.  Perhaps it is a horrific metaphor of what life in our biggest cities has been reduced to.  There is no periods of relief...just ominous and intense horror.  If you like your horror films to have monsters and to be horrific, see "Bakemono," and try not to avert your glance away from the screen.  

1 comment:

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