Genre: Supernatural Lesbian Slasher
review in one breath
Thirteen high school students find themselves the unwitting sacrifices in a grand scheme to resurrect Lucifer in a bid for world domination. As their number dwindles in gruesome manner, the survivors' hope is pinned solely on the magic powers of the new transfer student Kuroi Misa. This is a fast-paced blend of euro-Goth witchcraft, schlock gore and HOT LESBIAN ACTION!
This film is directed by female director Sato Shimako who in addition to this film also directed its sequel Eko Eko Azarak 2 (1996) and a 1992 occidental film entitled Warlock: Tale of a Vampire using a wholly European cast and released in the UK. (Sato was a graduate of the London International Film School.)
The main character of Kuroi Misa is played by (HOT!) Yoshino Kimika who would go on to later appear in several other films including the sequel (as Kuroi Misa) as well as Unlucky Monkey (1998), Gozu (2003) and Sky High (2003). Another key character is that of Kuroi's friend Mizuki played by Kanno Miho who you will undoubtedly recognize (via chronological hindsight) as none other than the original (1999) Tomie. (!!)
(To date) Two later films by other directors have expanded on the Kuroi Misa character -- The 1999 Misa The Dark Angel (aka Eko Eko Arazak 3) by director Ueno Katsuhiro and what looks to be a 2001 remake of the original film (also entitled Eko Eko Arazak) by director Suzuki Kousuke starring Katou Natsuki as Kuroi Misa (who earlier appeared in Stacy (2001), Tokyo 10+1 (2002) and Battle Royale 2 (2003), among others).
The reason that all these later related films emerge is due to the fact the current film's central character Kuroi Misa enters the narrative as mysteriously as she leaves. The only facts we learn of her in the current film are the following:
- She has transferred from (at least) two prior schools due to inexplicable deaths accompanying her presence. (She undoubtedly transfers from the current school for similar reasons.)
- She declares (and demonstrates) herself as a "witch" and states she intentionally came to the current school in order to save the other students (though by all conceivable measures fails miserably).
- Around her neck she wears a really big magical locket which contains a rope of hair she prays to.
That's it. No hints of past experiences or family history. We're not even told who the black magic villains are in this story; simply the fact that Kuroi Misa seems to be familiar with who and what they are. (Her name also ominously translates into "Black" (Kuroi) Misa.
While the city is rocked by its fifth gruesome murder, Kuroi Misa, a new transfer student is welcomed into the junior class of the local high school. She is quickly acclimated and accepted into the group, primarily befriended by class president Mizuki. Another classmate's personal interest in the occult soon proves to the class that the new student Kuroi may hold some terribly dark secrets.
As accusations spread that Kuroi might be involved in the five recent murders whose locations create a geographical satanic pentagram the center of which is the school itself (!), a small group of students, including Kuroi and her accusers, find themselves helpless captives within the school building through what is undoubtedly Black Magic.
And then the deaths begin, in gruesome manner, until the screaming survivors must draw sides -- for or against the possibly demonic nature of Kuroi Misa.
But despite her classmates' panicked flailing, Kuroi inevitably learns that she and the others have been counted as the fated "thirteen young sacrifices" required for a far greater diabolical scheme to call forth Lucifer himself, a task which, I might add, is successfully accomplished with devastating effect.
This is a rather substantial horror film containing plenty of (a) gore, (b) lesbian sex, (c) special effects, and (d) unresolved narrative elements.
That said, neither the schlock gore nor the TITillating sex scenes (girl on girl though they may be) elevate the seriousness of this film above a campy, adolescent-centric and googly-eyed horror. And by that I mean solely that this is ultimately entertaining to watch and in no way descends into "hardcore" content.
Version reviewed: Region 1 DVD available via mainstream US venues.
|The enigmatic witch character Kuroi Misa spelled out here will ultimately be the subject of three more films.||OODLES of spraying blood, decapitations and mutilations.||Gotta give it up for those HOT satanic lesbians. Does that really happen after EVERY homeroom class in Japanese high schools??||This was a fun and substantial euro-goth-lesbian-occult tale involving cocky high school students conjuring up Lucifer.|