Thursday, June 25, 2009

Kichiku Dai Enkai (1997; Kazuyoshi Kumakiri)

Kichiku Dai Enkai comes off as sort of an inspirational film, as strange as that may sound. Not to the degree that I find their vague rebellionism inspiring or that I find their clothing so hip to the jive. It is more that this film plays like a gore film should. It has some good effects, some half decent acting, and even some good camera work. What is so inspirational about that? This was Kumakiri's senior thesis in college and is really just his college buddies messing around on tape.

As the story goes, some political college group gets in trouble and their beloved leader goes to jail. He decided to put his girlfriend in charge of the group which begins to sew discontent, etc.

I'm going to keep this review on the short side as I already wrote another review recently and I really should be writing papers instead. As stated before, this is a college level piece, but don't let that give you any wrong ideas. The only thing that gives away that this is a college work is the fact that the stars are all college aged.

The camera is what really sold me. While it has an amateur feel to it, it also portrays a very serious and skilled knowledge of the do's and do not's. The first Evil Dead film comes to mind as a comparison, however, I feel that Kumakiri does it a little better than young Raimi.

The score is sparse (whether it be from lack of budget or actual choice I'm not sure) but is effective enough when used. The real problem here lies with the pacing. To succeed at making a slowly paced, character driven piece (which believe it or not is what this film is) you really need to have actors that shine and can carry a lot of weight with their dialogue. While this shows ambition, it really isn't an area that tends to excel in college works. While I doubt it was naivity on Kumakiri's part, it still is a wound that the film never really can rebound from.

Score: 3/5

Notes: Slow Pacing? Character Development? In a gore film?

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