October 20, 2006


Between now and the Devil's Day (Halloween) Wal-Mart is selling a bunch of Tartan DVDs for $9. If you ever wanted 'em, now's the time to get 'em. Here's the list with commentary:

MAREBITO - for the artsy crowd, this is probably the only non-JUON film from Takashi Shimizu. And it stars Shinya Tsukamoto.

CELLO - haven't seen it.

FACE - haven't seen it.

KOMA - haven't seen it.

PHONE - a good horror flick from Korea. Plus it features one of cinema's most psychotic infants.

WISHING STAIRS - solid entry in the schoolgirl horror films from Korea. Not the greatest, but nothing wrong with it, either.

WHISPERING CORRIDORS - see where Korea's schoolgirl horror films began. A movie I like a lot, although it does look a little dated nowadays.

MEMENTO MORI - the best of Korea's schoolgirl horror films. Teenage sapphic sweethearts, all-school hauntings, and a fractured narrative that's designed to break your heart. A good movie about ghosts, high school and lesbians.

ACACIA - not so hot. A haunted tree. Visually accomplished, and nothing wrong with it, but it doesn't grab you by the neck, either.

UNBORN BUT FORGOTTEN - high concept about killer pregnancies is diluted by ridiculous plotting. Still: killer fetuses. But overall: meh.

DOPPELGANGER - get it! Out of everything on this list, this flick is the crown jewel. Kiyoshi Kurosawa + Koji Yakusho = 2 gether 4 evah.

THE BOOTH - haven't seen it.

PRAY - haven't seen it.

So go shopping!!!

October 20, 2006 at 05:53 AM in News | Permalink


I guess I'm the arty crowd because I will try to buy Marebito (and probably Doppelganger; it is pretty good but not my favorite of Kurosawa's). Those are the only Tartan titles on sale? Damn. I would've wanted some Kim Ki Duk or summat like that.

Posted by: Simon Abrams | Oct 20, 2006 9:55:51 AM

On second thought, where am I going to be able to find a Wal-Mart near me, Grady? The website doesn't even list the two titles I'm interested in as being available.

Posted by: Simon Abrams | Oct 20, 2006 9:58:43 AM

I love Koma, it's an absolutely fun slice of DePalma made memorable by Karena Lam and Angelica Lee's performances as two best friends/mortal enemies.

Posted by: Justin Slotman | Oct 20, 2006 10:14:15 AM

You are almost right about Shimizu (or maybe you were just being sarcastic?). But, he does have at least one other non-Juon film - last year's Rinne (if you're in Japan like me, don't get confused with the Korean film of the same name). I just watched it. It has good production value and is well-executed, although I couldn't decide if I was satisfied with the story. It definitely had a few good moments, though.

Posted by: clay | Oct 20, 2006 10:15:11 AM

Also, I'd say that Phone tops this list for me. Maybe I was just in a weak state that night, but this is the only horror movie that I've had to stop and save til daylight. If you've seen other pale-girls-with-long-black-hair, then this isn't anything new. Ju-on and Ringu are both great (I saw them first), but this little girl rivals the Ju-on group of ghouls. So far, I've avoided watching it again because I don't want to spoil the feelings I have towards it. But, maybe it's time to check it out again.

Posted by: clay | Oct 20, 2006 10:34:16 AM

Don't forget that R-Point is on that list as well. I bought R-Point and Acacia, when I went back, Doppelganger was gone.

Posted by: Josh | Oct 20, 2006 5:53:49 PM

Koma is not bad. Although I really couldn't buy that someone would want to dump Karena Lam for Angelica Lee.

Face is really bad. Not even with 10 bucks.

MEMENTO MORI is so insanely over rated it's not even funny. I was actually laughing out loud at the climax of the film with the girl's face over looking the school as all the girls were running away screaming in terror. What a horribly directed ending.

WHISPERING CORRIDORS is far superior to Memento Mori in my opinion. While Memento Mori is so undeserving of any praise it gets, Whispering Corridors is way under rated.

Posted by: the running man | Oct 20, 2006 6:51:50 PM

Face IS really bad.

I really enjoyed R-Point too.

Posted by: Simon Abrams | Oct 21, 2006 12:50:50 PM

Avoid Cello at all costs. A perfect example of what is wrong with the Asian horror craze. Go for Koma and Doppelganger (you can't go wrong with Kiyoshi Kurosawa). Pray isn't bad for what it's worth either. Some effective scares and heart wrenching drama go pretty well together in this tale of a kidnapping gone wrong.

Posted by: Max | Oct 21, 2006 11:05:10 PM

Visited the closest Wal-Mart last night. What a dispiriting experience - only one Tartan title in stock, and another out of stock. And stepping into Wal-Mart, the great bastion of [ugh], is dispiriting enough as it is...

Posted by: Peter Martin | Oct 27, 2006 1:27:15 PM

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