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Death Trance

dir: Yoji Shimomura
[img_assist|nid=1221|title=Death to the people who made this movie|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=380|height=220]
Easily the dumbest and most worthless flick I’ve seen in a Japanese donkey’s age. Run, don’t walk to not hire a copy from your local Blockburster. Be excited, be be excited.

A review like this is more of a warning for people to not make the mistake of hiring something or soiling their eyeballs by watching if they’re unlucky enough to be caught on a couch when the remote’s broken and they’re forced to watch it on television. Just keep your eyes closed, even when they start bleeding. It’ll be easier that way.

The film used to brainwash and punish the guy in A Clockwork Orange should have been Death Trance. You know the famous scene; where Alex is strapped to a chair and clamps are used to force his eyes open as he screams and screams watching the onscreen madness. What the hell does Death Trance refer to anyway? It’s not mentioned in the flick. Perhaps it refers to the state the filmmakers expect the viewers to be left in when it’s over.

The plot, if I can insult the English language by using the word in this context, has to do with a magical coffin which, if it is dragged into a particular forest, can either make the Goddess of Destruction appear, or make their bum look smaller or something when they’re wearing that pair of pants that used to fit them so well a few years ago

So a bunch of people with Flock of Seagulls hairstyles pursue this coffin, which is also always followed by a stupid, stupid little girl, alternately fighting with each other as the situation requires. I’m not making this up: there are scenes where one of the nameless, feckless and pointless protagonists runs in-between people dressed in black who are just standing around motionless, whacking them on the head with, hopefully, something covered in padding. This constitutes 90 per cent of the flick. I dare anyone to have the patience to sit through this crap. Including the people that made it. They should be compelled to watch it a few dozen times until they either permanently give up making movies, or kill themselves.

You may think of myself: Well, what the fuck were you expecting, the DVD cover had a picture of a long-haired Japanese guy with a sword over his shoulder sitting on a motorbike; does that point to masterpiece theatre in your experience? Of course not, but even I, even I with all my powers of imagination could not have predicted the sheer magnitude of ineptness on display here.

I’ve seen a few, not too many, student films. Films with micro or no budgets, bad acting, stupid ideas and pretentious, arch affectations and sequences of excruciating moments following excruciating moments. Death Trance is even more painful and pointless than that.

I’ve not, in recent memory, wanted time to speed up so much, or for my DVD player to spontaneously burst into flames to prevent me from having to finish watching a flick as much as I did whilst enduring this. As a fan of Japanese cinema, action films and stupid films in general, I found myself missing the parts of the human consciousness or intellect that would have allowed me to sit through this or any flick made by these cretins ever again.

What interested me in the first place was that a casual glance at the DVD cover led me to believe it was a film made by the same guy who made Versus, which was a hyperviolent zombie flick that made up for its non-budget by having some pretty impressively funny gory moments. I was profoundly mistaken in believing they were connected, because director Ryuhei Kitamura had nothing to do with this flick, though there are enough incompetencies on display that I figure they must be connected in some way.

The trademarks of these particular Japanese flicks with sub-television production values are: lousy filming, no memorable dialogue of any description, a plot that sounds dumb in any language, protagonists without names, and endings that come out of nowhere and deliberately undercut a build up to a climactic resolution. It’s like finishing The Lord of the Rings saga just before Frodo and his merry band leave the Shire. The End.

I admit that I’m not so highbrow, or even middlebrow to not be won over by stupid, violent flicks every now and then, but when they have a plot written by a teenage boy in between contemplating smuggling a gun into his school to finally get the respect he thinks he deserves, with next to no thought put into it past having no way or ability to develop it further, it’s a goddamn chore to sit through.

Absurdity can work, too. It’s no reason to solely condemn a movie. But when that’s all you’ve got, and you make a fight flick without wanting to or being able to choreograph any of the fighting, you’re wasting your own time and mine.

I was pretty much convinced that there was no point watching any further once a character, for absolutely no reason that could make sense, appears out of nowhere on a motorbike. I know it’s on the cover, but in the manner that it happens it could just have easily been a penny farthing or a Model T Ford.

It’s a stupid movie with no redeeming features. Absolutely nothing. It’s not even dumb enough to be funny, it’s just painful. Avoid at all costs or I will dob on you to your mothers.

1 times this flick made me contemplate suicide out of 10. Contemplating suicide is not a good thing, but it’s good to be reminded of the fact that you will one day die, and that watching films like this is a waste of the time you have left.

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There is no quote from this execrable flick, none that wouldn’t make you puncture your own eyeballs with one of your toenails if you made the mistake of reading it.

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