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Another Heaven - Anaza Hebun (Iida Joji 2000)


Another Heaven
[Anaza Hebun]

Genre: Inexplicable Sci-Fi Horror Crime Thriller

review in one breath

Grab your showercaps boys and girls! Tokyo is being plagued by brain-eating WATER FROM HELL and no one is safe! Especially not the hunky, brooding Tokyo cop Manabu Hayase and all the many cute girls who dig him!

Detective Manabu (pretty boy Eguchi Yosuke) is hot on the trail of the mysterious perpetrator of a string of bizarre serial murders. And 'bizarre' proves to be an understatement when they discover that each victim's brain has been removed en toto and lovingly cooked in a variety of recipes which would make Iron Chef proud. Armed with a barely rudimentary knowledge of physics, Manabu's thick-skinned boss Tobitaka (Harada Yoshio) calculates the killer must be a large, muscular man since each of the victims was physically overpowered and their neck snapped.

This theory is, of course, completely erroneous and sets our rough and tumble cops on one wild goose chase after another. Then, as if divinely orchestrated, a series of sheer coincidences not only reveals their mistake, but sets them upon the exactly precise trail of the villain. First, Manabu's uncannily intuitive nymph-like (and temporarily nude) girlfriend Asako (Ichikawa Miwako) strongly suspects that a woman is responsible for these crimes. Why, you ask? Because the brains were all prepared in (and I quote) "homestyle recipes". But how could a woman overpower a man and snap his neck like that? The answer is simple, Asako asserts; Sex. Sex and superhuman strength. (Actually, as I was listening to this, I came up with my own theory that doesn't resort to superhuman strength. You see, perhaps the woman didn't snap those necks with her hands. Maybe she used her legs. Hmmm. Now if we could only figure out how she got all those men to stick their head between her legs...)

Then, only a short time later, they find a babbling eye-witness to one of the crimes, and yes, the perpetrator was a young woman who did the dastardly deed during the throes of passion. And by golly, right there, hidden behind the wallpaper (?) which was coincidentally ripped by the witness as he hysterically chases his dead teacher's ghost, is an amazingly life-like pencil drawing of the perpetrator herself. And through the technological wonders of the Tokyo homicide division, it takes them approximately 45 minutes (30 of which consists of the drive back to the station) to locate and identify the brain-eating babe as Chizuru (Okamoto Yukiko - who, by the way, played "Lisa" in Bounce Ko Gals three years earlier. Do you recognize her?).

But by the time they track this killer female down, lo and behold HER brain is missing. (??!) This, of course, significantly undermines the sexy brain-eating woman theory, especially when Manbu begins getting breathy phone calls from Kimura (Kashiwabara Takashi), the last guy to see Chizuru with her brain. Kimura periodically calls Manabu to declare that he has left little "presents" of love for Manabu, presents of bloodied, brainless people strewn about everywhere. This bizarre transfer of the killer's modus operandi causes Manabu and Tobitaka to rethink things, including the world as we know it, and they soon come to the conclusion that they are dealing with a supernatural force which jumps from one body to the next.

Since no one else would possibly believe this, and they alone know the invisible nature of their foe, Manabu and Tobitaka begin meting out there own peculiar brand of justice which amounts to thoroughly beating up and shooting a large number of the wrong people, including their fellow cops. By the time the dust settles, the ghostly entity is only one french kiss away from inhabiting Manabu in a climactic revelation of the killer's true, dripping nature.

spoiler warning

You see, the killer is actually from the future, but is already dead, and was bored in the goody-two-shoes pristineness of heaven, and thus escaped from there to here (the "other" heaven where things are much more exciting), inexplicably in the form of water which chases you around and eventually seeps into your orifices and possesses you to do all kinds of non-heavenly exciting stuff like cut out people's brains and eat them. Fortunately for our amazingly low-tech cops, this watery demon from the future can be absorbed with a dry towel and burned with fire. (???) Otherwise, who knows what widespread destruction, brain-eating, and general wetness might have occurred!?

Version reviewed: Unsubtitled VHS

cultural interest violence sex strangeness
Uh, no. Plenty (and I mean plenty) of bloodied, brainless craniums proudly displayed. Some robust neck snapping. Irrevocable damage perpetrated upon two guys' trouser zippers. Some (appreciated) gratuitous nudity and one poor guy ridden to death (with a smile on his face) by the nymphomaniac water from hell. (splish splash!) Tough Tokyo cops battle demonic, brain-eating water from the future with the help of well-placed towels and water-burning fire in a fight to the death for the survival of the world's crania.

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