As most of you may know, my sister is to movies the way I am to books. She watches four to six movies a week, and travels to the Vancouver Film Festival each year (this year she saw 66 movies in two weeks - OMG). She has a blog and writes for an online mag. So when she meanders down from Minneapolis to visit us, I know she is going to bring something...interesting...to watch.
Our first "Kathie movie" was one that was a Japanese film made in 1977 and has been deemed a "masterpiece of le cinema du WTF!?", "Carrie raised to the seventh power", and "Suspiria spiraling ever upward into some psychedelic seventh heaven". Alrighty then.
The director Obayashi, aided by his 11 year-old daughter Chigumi, has created something almost indescribable. A mixture of horror, surrealism, camp, and bizarre goofiness, it is hard to decide whether you should laugh, scream or just be annoyed. This one is for open minds and eclectic tastes.
At its core, the premise is terrifying. Seven teenage girls decide to vacation with one girl's spinster aunt who lives in a remote house. One by one, the girls start disappearing, and it becomes apparent that the aunt (and perhaps the white fluffy pet cat) is in fact a demon spirit.
The effects are cheesy, the backdrops obviously fake, but when a possessed piano eats one girl limb by limb, or another girl finds her schoolmate's head in a well, or their favorite handsome teacher is transformed into a man-sized bunch of bananas, you know you ain't in Kansas anymore.
Better yet? It is on Blu-Ray, and available on Netflix. Just don't say I didn't warn you.