Director Mastumura Katsuya’s only other directorial work was on the 1992 original All Night Long and its four sequels, none of which I have yet seen.
I personally am not attracted to pure “gore-cringe” films whose sole shock value is in the amount of grossities which are spilt out onto the screen. Thus it is doubtful you will ever find reviews here of the notorious Guinea Pig series nor likely any of Matsumura’s All Night Long films.
There are, of course, gore-cringe films which hold other value and thus do appear her at SaruDama. The (actual) politico-historical background of the otherwise shocking Kichiku Dai Enkai certainly places the film in this category. Others here would be the Romero-spoof Stacy and “campy bad” Junk and Donor. Et Cetera Et Cetera…
I mention all this because Kirei?, the film under review here, is of the “pure” variety and uses surgical gore as its sole claim to “horror”. In the place of politico-historical, tongue-in-cheek or simply fun nuances, Kirei? somehow wishes to make a serious statement on the current explosion of interest among Japanese women in cosmetic surgery. Had this statement been a core conviction of Matsumura’s around which he built his film, this may have been akin to other issue-driven films such as Kichiku. But it immediately becomes clear to viewers that Matsumura’s choice of cosmetic surgery was not ideological and those actually trying to follow his “statement” will not only experience contradictions but also unresolved confusion by film’s conclusion.
So, not surprisingly, this film is not really about a philosophical stance on cosmetic surgery, but rather about exposing audience members to various “shocking” scenes of gore using sterilized scalpels and liposuction machines.
To its merit, this tale effectively uses the legend of Greco-Roman Aphrodite as a modicum of underlying principle regarding the character’s attraction to their fate. Without this over-arching element, well… let’s not even go there.
The cast here is quite decent and comprised of hotties which j-film fans will be familiar with. The money-hungry plastic surgeon is played by Okamoto Yukiko who you may also recognize from Bounce Ko Gals (1997), Another Heaven (2000), Returner (2002), and Shin Mimi Bukuro (2003). For some reason along the line, she here plays a frequently naked and (convincingly) orgasmic character. The “ugly” patient is played by Kurozawa Asuka who any red-blooded male who has seen Snake of June (2003) will remember as the long-legged, sex-centric mini-skirt wearing character Rinko. And the (diminutively) hunky Dr. Normura is played by Kusano Youta of the original 1999 Tomie.