Dec 11, 2007

Red Room

Red Room is a not-so-typical Japanese underground splatter film, which finally got a decent release. Director Daisuke Yamanouchi seemed to have CUBE in mind while directing this sleaze fest. This film has been circulating the Internet via various torrent sites without subtitles, making ridiculous claims as in “You don’t need the subtitles to understand the plot”. Well you do need subtitles, or else there is no character at all, Just scene after scene of pointless perversion and mild-mannered implied violence.

The plot concerns The Forbidden King Game. 4 players, and 4 cards. Whoever draws the king card gets to tell 2 of the members what to do to each other in a cage or else they get disqualified. Winner takes home 10 million yen, which is 89,730 US Dollars. We have a almost divorced couple, whose marriage and lives rest on getting this money, and we have a pair of sisters. They each have their story behind wanting the money. You know that the couple is in debt off the get-go, but you don’t realize the others purposes until later.

Not much is known about this red room. Strange men record it from somewhere else and speak in a voice changer. I guess the actions of the characters overshadow the curiosity that we should feel while watching these acts of anger.

Many things in this film hit me with a bad note, the violence being my number one problem. This film is made to sound wholly graphic and over the top, but it is just the bastard son’s of media hype. This film is loaded with implied scenes and lots of disgusting sound effects. The film opens up with two girls making out and the accompanied sound effect sounds like someone is fucking a jar of mayonnaise. Then you get the infamous “Light Bulb” scene, which is a complete disappointment, but in no way do these trivial errors and goofs make for any less of an entertaining trip.

The ideas for the torture and degradation are very interesting to watch on screen. They seem to have borrowed the concept of the spinning chair from The Devil’s Experiment. This film is very focused of revealing a monster inside everyone and does that quite well. One thing i really did appreciate the film for is it's excellent soundtrack. It greatly reminded me of Nubohiko Morino's work on Versus. Such a goofy film with a thumping dance soundtrack.

Films like these can be compared to “Niku Daruma” or even “Mu Zan E”. These are more examples of films circulating in the genre of extreme Japanese underground horror. The way the characters are developed is very bizarre and works out in advantage of the director. You hate every single character in this film. They all are disgusting wastes of human life, and to top it off, annoying as shit. I didn’t feel bad in the entire movie, no emotions, just violence.

A decent “extreme” film but leaves much to answer. Expect Red Room 2 to be released soon by Unearthed Films.


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