October 15th, 2006


Masters of Horror: Imprint

Long-time readers of this journal may remember that I'm over the films of Japanese director Takashi Miike. His fascination with lactation, nonsensical storylines and extreme violence just doesn't work for me. While this remains largely true, his Masters of Horror episode, "Imprint", stands as one of his better, more accessible works. The story makes sense for the most part, at least until the very end, and there's not a single lactation scene to be had. I also think it's also got the strongest visual style of anything he's done, a continuation of his appropriation of David Lynch's dreamy style that he started in 2003's Gozu.

There's even one supremely creepy moment when a ghost appears over someone's shoulder, just for a second. In truth, I would have preferred more of that -- even though the long-haired Japanese ghost woman is just as played out for me -- than the already notorious torture scene, which is a bit tamer than I expected, though still squirm-inducing because it involves needles.

It's hardly perfect. Billy Drago is dreadfully miscast as the male lead, overacting with a mixture of William Shatner's misunderstanding of punctuation and the loud, overly dramatic drunk who makes you embarrassed to be at the same bar. Most of the Japanese actors' struggle with their English dialogue is distracting, and as I mentioned, the story falls into style-over-substance nonsense at the very end (Drago's character shouldn't see an aborted fetus in his water bowl, as that storyline had nothing to do with him, and even Miike admits in the extras that the prostitute cooking a fish at the very end has nothing to do with anything except that he wanted another scene with her).

But still, it's one of the better Masters of Horror episodes, leagues ahead of junk like "Chocolate", "Sick Girl" and "Deer Woman", and well worth checking out. Even if you're over Miike.

Oh Snap!

I think the HWA just kicked out Nicky P. for bad behavior! They didn't say it was Nicky, but I suspect so, since they gave their reasoning as "a history of misbehavior...misconduct...abusive treatment and harrassment." As far as I know, this is the first time an HWA administration has ever done such a thing. It's also the first time the organization has shown some spine in who knows how long. Go HWA!