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Suicide Club - My Review

Old 11-29-03, 08:32 PM
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Suicide Club - My Review

I never knew about this whole subculture of Asian “shock’ cinema only until I happened to have stumbled on the film “Audition” and ever since I’ve been hooked. This whole line of films from the Orient has to be the most original, bizarre, violent and intriguing films on the market today which for the most part, unfortunately, will probably never be seen by the public. That is until its Americanized and bastardized, which is unfortunate. Well, enough of my ramblings. Let me tell you about my latest delve into this underground market, the “Suicide Club”, which is a pretty sick and twisted look at today’s youth. There are a few scenes that don’t particularly work well and some will leave you wondering, “what the hell?”, but overall this is one helluva ride that’s pretty dark and disturbing.

“Suicide Club” opens right away with a bang and never lets up right up until the very end. It begins as 54 school girls waiting on the subway platform all clasp hands, count down to three, and then jump in front of an oncoming subway car!
Even as the boxcover told me this I really didn’t know what to expect and it still came as a complete shock as blood and body parts are strewn across the train, passengers, and onlookers. Gruesome to say the least. This though is only the beginning as more teens begin throwing themselves off buildings, sticking their heads into ovens, and just a frenzy of various suicides. As the suicides mount the police are drawn in, especially after finding a carry-on bag with the contents I’ll leave up to your imagination. The police are led then led to a mysterious website, by an unknown caller, where it has been keeping track of the deaths by colored dots and nothing more.

Thrown into the entire mix of this is a pre-teen pop group that seems to be popping up all over and on everyone’s tv’s! This madness continues to spiral out of control and then in a slight twist midway we are introduced to a bizarre cult, led by an even more bizarre leader. This part of the film took a turn that just didn’t quite fit in but it was still dark and edgy as this cult leader was one of the sickest villains I’ve seen in quite a while. I won’t give away any details but let’s just say that his victims are kept tied up in oversized cloth bags on the floor in an abandoned bowling alley! Sounds bizarre? It is and its even worse then that!

The suicides mount until the ending culminates to what you would think would be a clean and tidy ending but kudos to Shion Sono who takes us onto this dark journey only to leave us in the “middle of the road”. You’ll know what I mean after seeing it. This film is totally not for everyone, the faint of hear, or those with a weak stomach. I found it fascinating, intriguing and couldn’t wait to see where I was going to be led next. Bravo for yet another Asian horror film that dares to overstep the boundaries and take the viewer on a hellish nightmare or a ride! I read where this film was a response by the director to bring Japan’s rising teen suicide rate to the forefront but whether it was or not I’m not sure. It surely doesn’t voice an opinion but rather uses that as a stepping stone for its decline into madness. If you like graphic, violent, twisted films check this out, its one you won’t soon forget!
Old 11-29-03, 10:05 PM
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Are you reviewing the movie in general or is this a review of the R1 release that has recently come out? I have an Japanese import of the film and I was just wondering how the quality is and if there are any extras on the disc.

And I've always heard it called Suicide Circle rather than Suicide Club. My Japanese release says Suicide Cirlce. Again, just wondering if this is a difference with the R1 release.

Thanks.
Old 11-30-03, 08:19 AM
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Rented this and watched it yesterday (Netflix). It is Suicide Club. Picture quality is excellent. Only extras are a photo gallery and some trailers (including suicide club). Good horror flick with some surprises along the way like a major character's death right in the middle of the flick a la Psycho.
(the singing girl group got on my nerves,but I guess they were supposed to).
Old 12-01-03, 12:49 PM
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Over the weekend I had an asian cinema film fest that included Suicide Club, Ichi the Killer, The Eye, Ringu, and Versus.

After finishing these films I had that revelation that American cinema is so tired. These films are daring, weird, dangerous, bloody, confusing, exciting, charged and original. There are some American movies that appear to be taking their cue from the Asians (Kill Bill) but for me it's too few and too far between.

American cinema seems so determined to be correct, and to not offend anyone, so that most daring or original movies would end up at the bottom of an indie bin. After watching Suicide Club, my wife and I laughed at the thought of an American movie trying something like fifty school girls throwing themselves in front of a train. The Americanized version of this would certainly make it an older bunch of junkies and social misfits that killed themselves, wouldn't want to upset anyone!

Thanks for listening to my rant. The original review of Suicide Club rather closely paralleled my own feelings watching the movie. I admire the director for wanting to throw so many elements in the mix. Some aspects do seem "tacked on" but they all work together.

Mind you, I acknowledge the rare original American movie (Adaptation, Being John Malkovich), I just wish that there was more variety and creativity.

alec...
Old 12-01-03, 01:41 PM
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Sorry yes, Suicide Club (Suicide Circle), Region 1,
Director: Shion Sono.

Mudhead what did you think of Ichi? The trailer looks wicked! I have it in my shopping cart over at DDD along with the 3 disc set of All Night Long....

I'm so hooked on these! Hmmmm...wonder if I need counseling!? lol
Old 12-01-03, 02:38 PM
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NYCNetguy - Let's just say if you liked Suicide Club you will LOVE Ichi the Killer.
Old 12-01-03, 06:33 PM
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Ditto that - god, I used to think that the Germans were twisted, after watching a Miike film fest - let's say Ichi the Killer, Fudoh, Audition, Visitor Q and Dead or Alive (which I have all of !) you will definitely need some serious counseling.

Coolest movies around.

mud...
Old 12-04-03, 07:42 PM
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Would this be a good blind buy for $12 while the DDD coupon is still active?

Last edited by bis22; 12-04-03 at 08:00 PM.
Old 12-28-03, 04:44 AM
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Let me start this by saying that Japanese cinema is my favorite cinema in the world. From Kurosawa and Ozu to Miike and Nakata (among others), I love Japanese cinema. I especially love Japanese shock cinema, I think that quite often these films take gore and sex and put them in a context that is surreal and unique.

I had a lot of people recommend Suicide Circle to me. They said if I liked Takashi Miike, I would go nuts over it. So I bought it and watched it.

And I have to say, I thought the film was HORRIBLE.

Now, it started off well. The first half looked like it was going down the Ring or Kairo path, with some unexplained occurances and mysterious voices on phones and odd internet websites. Great, I'm loving it. Then, suddenly,
Spoiler:
The Bat gets kidnapped
and the whole film suddenly crashes and burns. What the hell was the deal with that terrible overactor Eddie Izzard impersonator Genesis? That whole subplot derailed the movie. It went from thriller to Rocky Horror. And there's nothing wrong with Rocky Horror, unless you're trying to scare or shock somebody. Because, come on, there was nothing shocking about those sequences. And then the girl figures out the secret of the suicides and goes to the concert hall and gets interviewed by little kids. Why? To what purpose? And what was with all the faulty logic about connections and the half-baked philosophy? The one thing the film didn't have was connections. How is the kid on the phone connected to the kids in the concert hall?
Spoiler:
Why was the skin taken off the backs of those girls if they weren't going to kill themselves?
What was the point of this movie? I don't even think it was trying to say anything. I cannot wrap my head around it. All I know is that I hated it. The gore was good, but not as well done as dozens of other similar, better films that I've seen. Did anyone else have the same reaction? Am I the only one who thought that this was not a good movie?

Note: I love open-ended films that don't explain a lot of strange things...when it works. This film did not work in that way. Without any explanation, it just turned into mush. This was a film that was begging for some kind of resolution. Any kind. Instead, it just ended as an amorphous collection of images on celluloid. The original poster gave kudos to a film for stepping outside the boundaries, but I have to slam it. The premise was so promising, and the filmmakers decided that instead of delivering on the promise, they'll just give the audience a whole bunch of obtuse nonsense and drop the rest of the movie on them with a sickening thud.

Last edited by Supermallet; 12-28-03 at 04:52 AM.
Old 03-01-04, 11:07 PM
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Just wanted to bring this to the forefront...I got Ichi and loved it....although the trailer was more disturbing then the actual film, maybe because it was so quickly edited and you weren't able to take it all in.

In any case I'm looking for some more disturbing, get under your skin movies.....I may pick up "Aswang" tomorrow.......
Old 03-04-04, 10:22 AM
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is this version legit?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...&category=2305
person claims its 16:9 and region 0. but has 0 feedback.
Old 03-06-04, 09:14 PM
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Originally posted by Rypro 525
is this version legit?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...&category=2305
person claims its 16:9 and region 0. but has 0 feedback.
You can get it for $15 *shipped* from DDD. No need to go the eBay route.
Old 03-07-04, 01:06 AM
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Originally posted by Suprmallet
I love Japanese cinema. I had a lot of people recommend Suicide Circle to me. They said if I liked Takashi Miike, I would go nuts over it. So I bought it and watched it.

And I have to say, I thought the film was HORRIBLE.
Same here. The premise was interesting enough for me to blind buy it, but it didn't live up to any of my expectations. The suicide rate in Japan is very high, so I figured maybe there would at least be an interesting social commentary within it, but nothing. The first half had me very interested, but it gradually fell to pieces. It went from interesting to ridiculous in about 5 minutes, which is a shame.
Old 03-07-04, 05:41 PM
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Originally posted by TomOpus
You can get it for $15 *shipped* from DDD. No need to go the eBay route.
but the region 1 version is non amorphic, and really crappy all together, and was wondering if there was a region 0 version of the movie?

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