11 March 2016

AUDITION. (1999) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.


AUDITION. 1999. TARTAN CINEMA. DIRECTED BY MIIKE TAKASHI. STARRING RYO ISHIBASHI, EIHI SHIINA, TETSU KUREMURA, MIYUKI MATSUDA, RENJI ISHIBASHI AND JUN KUNIMURA. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

Oh boy. This famous, or should I say infamous, Japanese horror film is not for the faint-hearted. It's most definitely not for faint-hearted men. It's a woman-taking-revenge-on-a-man movie that makes FATAL ATTRACTION and its forerunner PLAY MISTY FOR ME look like BARNEY THE DINOSAUR MEETS THE TELETUBBIES. Ah, you know what I mean. Here's the deal.

Shigeharu Aoyama is a really nice guy. He's an attractive, middle-aged widower with a teenage son, an adorable puppy dog and a beautiful home. When he's been seven years widowed, however, he starts to feel like it's about time he remarried again. He's lonely. He needs a little loving. No-one, not even his son, can blame him for that.

I wouldn't mind hooking up with an attractive middle-aged widower myself, especially if he had an adorable puppy dog and a beautiful home as well. If you know of any, by the way, do us a favour and give 'em a nudge in my direction, would you? You think I'm joking, but I'm actually deadly serious, haha. Attractive middle-aged widowers with adorable puppy dogs and beautiful homes are in surprisingly short supply these days.

So anyway, how does Aoyama go about meeting a new woman? Does he ask a trusted friend to set him up with a work colleague? Does he place a personal ad in a newspaper or magazine? Does he go speed-dating? These are all respectable, tried-and-tested ways of meeting someone. It's actually kind of a mixture of all of the above.

With the help of a friend, he holds an audition, an actual audition, for the part of a female lead in a non-existent production. He intends to select a new wife from one of the applicants. Well. It seems unnecessarily and ridiculously convoluted- not to mention limited- a method to me, but whatever floats his boat, haha. Still, as he's chosen such an unorthodox method of wife-selection with his eyes wide open, can he really then complain when things go tits-up, as surely they must? It seems to me that he hasn't got a leg to stand on in that regard.

Naturally, he meets a woman. It wouldn't be much of a woman-taking-revenge-on-a-man movie if he didn't. Her name is Asami, she's twenty-four years old and she's stunningly beautiful. They hit it off immediately, which makes poor old Aoyama the happiest he's been in a long time.

But Asami is an immensely damaged young woman. Her story is one of horrific abuse by the people in her past. She is broken beyond repair. Broken and psychologically messed-up in a way that bodes ill- really ill- for any man she meets. Even a man who actually treats her right, like Aoyama wants to. After they make love for the first time, Asami shows Aoyama just what happens to the men who cross her path. It ain't pretty...

I won't go into details. I don't want to spoil it for you. Let's just say, however, that you can expect to see cheese wire being used to cut something that isn't cheese (yeowwwwwch...!), a bowl of vomit being used for an utterly stomach-churning purpose and a highly unorthodox session of acupuncture taking place. On an unwilling participant. In a scene that surely must come straight from your worst nightmares. In all honesty, I didn't sleep too well after watching AUDITION, surely the sign of a good horror film.

And what exactly is tied up in Asami's sack...? Well, she ain't no Santa Claus as sure as eggs is eggs and there ain't no gifts for good little boys and girls in that there sack of hers. You can take that to the bank as sure as eggs is... Oh yes, right. I used the eggs analogy already. It's a good analogy though. As sure as eggs is... Yep, you got it. Eggs, haha.

The good news for all J-Horror fans, by the way, is that the jolly nice people at ARROW VIDEO are bringing this harrowing film out on Blu-ray and DVD at the end of February 2016. There'll be a whole host of special features like interviews with the director and cast members to keep film fans happy for hours. A little birdie tells me that there will also be a gorgeous Limited Edition Steelbook version, so y'all better get saving your pennies now, y'heah...?

Like I said, this film is surely not for the faint-hearted. It's a brilliant Japanese horror film, however, so if you think you have the stomach for it you should definitely watch it. Make sure you have your dinner first, though. I somehow don't think you'll be feeling very hungry afterwards...

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

 You can contact Sandra at:


http://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com





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