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  • Zëiram

    Zëiram

    ★★★½

    Zëiram's at its absolute best when it fully commits to the body horror tokusatsu spectacle and sci-fi bounty hunter nonsense, and at its worst when it dares to drive the focus away from those and its amazing heroine / terrifying villain, instead spending an unecessary amount of time with other characters. Still, the impressive special effects, inspired costume design, and an incredible creature design in particular make up for all of its flaws. Should've been the lenght of an OVA, though.

  • Tokyo Blood

    Tokyo Blood

    ★★★★

    A collection of short segments that seem to encompass most of Ishii's sensibilities post 1980's and the many things to come in his career; from the explorations of urban alienation and human interaction of Labyrinth of Dreams and the questions about our identity of Mirrored Mind, to the psychological analysis bathed in soft greens of Angel Dust and the meditative contemplation of our place in humanity, the world and the universe of August in the Water, all compacted into this…

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  • Eyes of the Spider

    Eyes of the Spider

    ★★★½

    The second part of Kurosawa's exploration of the ramifications of violence when both received and inflicted, and the neverending cycle of emptiness it creates; the other side of the coin, if you will, to the hopelessness and horror of Serpent's Path.

    The other side in almost every way, as the remnants of the barely existent plot that Eyes of the Spider shares with the aforementioned allows Kurosawa to shift genres towards some kind of black comedy, and even offer some glimpses of deadpan emotions here and there; exactly how a Kitano film would feel after a lobotomy.

  • Asia Strikes Back

    Asia Strikes Back

    ★★★½

    Originally a music video made to be played during live performances of Sōgo Ishii and the Bacillus Army, this still serves as a short showcase of Ishii's tremendous skill and ingenuity as a filmmaker; it's basically Scanners as conceived by someone who was born shortly after the war in a country that lived first-hand its devastating effects, and who also just happened to be heavily involved with its blooming 1980's punk scene, paving the way for all kind of psychic…