SODOM THE KILLER
Directed by Hiroshi Takahashi
Written by Hiroshi Takahashi
Cinematography by Yôsuke Kogure
Music by Hiroyuki Nagashima
Cast: Shoko Nakahara, Takashi Urai, Rena Komine, Aki Miyata, Kiichi Sonobe
2004 /105 mins/Colo /Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
1.33:1/Japanese/Japan/NTSC Region 1
Review from Media Blasters / Tokyo Shock DVD
Three hundred years ago, Sodomu fell from the grace of God when he mistakenly kills two innocent girls after his bride-to-be dies on their wedding night. Sodomu's descendant Sodom becomes cursed by Sodomu's sins on his wedding night, becoming blind in the process and developing a insane bloodlust. He sets out to bring chaos and anarchy to Japan, as he brings about economic turmoil with his henchmen, and then focuses his energy on the citizens themselves, when he uses a scientist's experiments to take over the nervous system with an injection. Meanwhile, obsessed cop Therese, whose ancestor is none other than one of Sodomu's victims, is on Sodom's trail and will stop at nothing to end his murderous reign.
Hiroshi Takahashi, best known to horror audiences for his screenplays for the three Japanese RINGU films, makes his directorial debut with this ludicrously low-budget film whose shoe-string effects are only matched by the over-the-top acting. In an attempt to break out of his horror label, Hiroshi Takahashi eschews any sort of genre label with this picture as he wildly mixes horror, low-brow comedy, parody, and a V-Cinema ethos into a horribly strange yet oddly tasty stew.
Now, you may be asking, just how low-budget does the guy that helped launch the longed-hair-ghost cinema craze go? Shouldn't he be able to get a decent sized budget? A quick rundown of some of the better examples should give you an idea of what is in store for you. Sodomu's 18th century castle is filmed in the basement of an office building, and there is absolutely no attempt to hide the power boxes and overhead pipes. The bullet train crash features a toy train (not a model, a toy) being pushed off a track. The actors are shown standing in front of an obvious rear projection screen as this footage is shown. Planes and birds are flown via visible fishing wire. And even when Therese unloads thirty plus bullets into a henchman at point blank, there is absolutely no blood.
Though SODOM THE KILLER will mostly appeal to Japanese horror fans, the high injection of comedy far outweighs anything scary about the movie. Sodom's blindness offers a running string of jokes, as he is lead around by his henchmen, and for some bizarre reason unwittingly becomes the driver of a getaway car. The budget restraints of the film also lead to identical sparsely decorated sets being used multiple times as different locations. And during a flashback early on in the film, the adult actors merely play themselves when they are ten years old. But the effects shots and stunts offer the most consistent source for laughs through out the movie.
The film will most likely get the highest mileage for those who know exactly what they are getting into here. A few friends with a daft sense of humor and a bottle or two of chilled sake will make all the difference in being able to enjoy SODOM THE KILLER.
The domestic DVD release comes courtesy of Tokyo Shock, which features a decent transfer of the full-screen film. The movie is shot on video, and as such the transfer looks like it was pulled straight from the tape master. There is some slight digital pixelation during some shots where there is an abundance of one solid color on the screen, but other than that there is nothing to complain about given the video source material. The DVD's plain stereo audio offers little range in terms of depth, but this is mostly like due to the original sound as it was recorded. The removable subtitles are always easy to read with Tokyo Shocks standard yellow lettering, with only a few grammatical and spelling errors.
The extras on the DVD are fairly lackluster. The SODOM THE KILLER trailer is included, along with four previews of recent Media Blasters releases. The only other feature, entitled Sodom The Premiere, is a twelve minute introduction by the director and the main cast offering up their thoughts on making the movie. Tokyo Shock has been kind enough to subtitle this featurette.
This Film Features:
Review by Ryan Mil. All Right Reserved. 2007. ©
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