Mar 10, 2009

Detroit Metal City

Organizing Japanese weirdness is easy enough. From a country where you can purchase used underwear in vending machines, no topic is sacred from getting befouled with quirky Japs in “fashionable” clothes all the while mocking something that their culture has no place in doing so. For an elaborated and clever title, Toshio Lee took the existing Detroit Rock City and made it into Detroit Metal City. Get it? The story is simple and charming enough. Closet homosexual Soichi leaves his farm life to become a Swedish pop singer. He finds himself in a rut when he becomes the front man for a death metal band called Detroit Metal City, all the while hiding his identity behind a wig, face paint, and donning the name "demon emperor" Johannes Krauser II.

For Krauser’s “mask,” the traditional death metal approach is taken which aids the non-stop sarcastic viewpoint of metal. Stab a dead dog repeatedly, why don't you? Like Metalocalypse before it, Detroit Metal City just shows how ridiculous and unsavory the effect of Metal is on both social and physical aspects of life. Representing this claim is DMC’s choice of lyrics. Such classic verses as “I’m a terrorist from hell. Yesterday, I’ve raped my mother” are prominent in the philosophy of DMC and thus brings in a youthful, rebellious teenage crowd. Unbeknownst to the fans, Johannes is actually a giggling, bubbly fashionable ex-farm boy who has a perfect mushroom cut and an attitude that can extinguish fire out of fear of homosexuality. This isn't his dream so where did it go wrong? With most tales of inspiration, this one caters to the motives of giving dreams to others and explodes into a heavy metal face off against the legendary Jack III Dark (Gene Simmons). The scintillating versus match plays out like a self-loathing foreign idealist cover of a Tenacious D act.

For fans of Japanese cinema, be it cult, horror, or quirky adventures in bubblegum land, DMC coddles to the needs of fans of eccentric comedy. I'd be lying if I denied Detroit Metal City's marvelous ability to make me chuckle, laugh, and grin to no end. For an exclusive and exaggerated view at Japan's culture, Detroit Metal City is a comical touring through the busy streets filled with women that all look the same, super sentai performances, and the arrogant lot of "fashionable males" that stroll through. And just to think, this amusing film was brought to you by a hit Japanese manga. It seems that while we're adapting Japanese horror films to our American market, they're taking their own comics and adapting them to the screen. We perpetrate upon the same soil but normally with foreign works of literature. No "culture" is sacred enough from Hollywood's disheveling blood thirsty scalpel.

Just like the many masks adorned in Detroit Metal City, this film will suit any to all demographic unless you're disgusted by romantic comedies detailing the escapades of an aspiring pre-op tranny that completely redefines the term "flamboyant." For a film with revolving ethics sermoning the values of goals, Detroit Metal City is damn near perfect and a shining light of an absurd comedy. To bogart upon a film that near everyone should see is hard enough as it is. Should I throw in several "quotables?" Detroit Metal City is slam-bang fun? A rocking good time? No, these are just silly word-smithing's that equate to a flaccid discussion. If an idiosyncratic eye with razor sharp wit seems endearing to you, see Detroit Metal City at all cost. Like the source material, the result is incredibly entertaining and sports a fleshy comic feel to boot that will appraise you over and over again.


1 comment:

Xiang Xiang said...

I wasn't aware that Negishi is a closet homosexual. He has a freaking love-interest girlfriend-candidate and is continually in angst about not having had sex with her. Why, in one of the latest chapters, he prevents his brother from fucking a girl because he himself hasn't fucked his love interest yet. Tranny? Homosexual? Is there something I'm missing here? Has the live action movie changed that much stuff from the manga?