Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Bizarre Japanese House

Last month, I saw House at the Castro.

House directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi; Japanese with subtitles; (1977) - Official Website

I'm not sure if I can remember the full plot. Six high school girls go to the country to visit the aunt of one of them. The girls' names are Gorgeous, Fantasy, Kung Fu, Professor, Melody and Sweet (or Mac as in Big Mac). I think they are staying Gorgeous' aunt's house. I believe the house serves as the organ for the aunt to maintain her youth. She needs a steady stream of virgins to visit her so that the house can literally devour them. Their youth and innocence get transferred to the aunt.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, the real purpose of the film is to be self-aware of various cliches and horror movie tropes. I can't really describe the hyper-stylized film beyond that. The painted backdrops are cheap and meant to look cheap. There's some equally cheesey looking animation throughout the film. The girls play it straight for the most part which adds to the campiness.

Even the most dour of movie goers could find something to smile about in the film. The official website describes the film as an episode of Scooby Doo as directed by Dario Argento. That summarizes it nicely.

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