Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Great Horror Family - Complete Collection|
Actors: Shunji Fujimura, Tomiko Ishii, Sh˘ichir˘ Masumoto, Shigeru Muroi, Sh˘ko Nakahara
Directors: Keisuke Toyoshima, Kenji Murakami, Yűdai Yamaguchi
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Anime & Manga
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Surprise! It's pretty good.
S. Marzioli | USA | 10/02/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When I bought this I was under the impression it was a little known anime show in the vein of the Addams Family. I was wrong! This was apparently a live-action TV show which aired Japan from 2004 to 2005. I was initially disappointed, but it was my fault for not researching the product before cold-buying it.
The Imawano family moves into a new house which has the reputation of being haunted. On the very day they move in the grandfather, Fuchio, dies leaving behind his wife, his daughter, her husband and their two kids. That night the grandson Kiyoshi (played by Issei Takahashi) is sent a note from Fuchio telling him to meet him in the room behind the Unopenable Door at 2 AM. When he does, he discovers his family is psychic, allowing them to sense spirits and apparitions, and will be faced with a great catastrophe in the near future. Furthermore Kiyoshi, Fuchio says, is the only one who can stop it.
The show uses cheap special effects and the camera used is obviously for TV; it has a look which I can't quite describe but which seems to be common in Asian, and non-US, TV shows. Still, the storyline is interesting and it has some really laugh worthy moments. It plays up the stereotypical female ghost with long hair gag for as long as that works, but then changes it up by throwing some very unusual spirits and apparitions in too. By the middle of the first disc Yokai monsters show up. It's hard to go wrong with Yokai monsters!
If you can start this show off with optimism and a love for low-budget effects, and appreciate even forehead slap inducing puns, this show might be something worth checking out. I'm glad I did. And, honestly, that was the surprise.
Very funny, in its own way
R. J. Marques | Scottsdale, AZ United States | 08/17/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I just came here to check if a Season Two was available of this show and alas, it is not. I also noted the price - $35.99 for the first season. I'm humbled to say I saw this 3-disc set, brand new in a Big Lots store for $2.99 and bought it on sight last week. I saw that the Director was Takashi Shimizu and I love his movies. I also noted that it was a Japanese TV series mixing horror and comedy, which appealed to me.
The show is crudely produced, with silly, cheesy effects - both visual and audio, but the show is still a great watch.
It centers on a traditional Japanese family [father, mother, younger daughter, older son, and a set of grandparents], who purchase and move into a supposedly haunted house. The father is oblivious to the strange goings on, although he is the most interested in spiritual matters, hauntings, UFO's and the like. The grandfather dies of a heart attack after discovering the spirits and energies in the house before [actually, WHILE alerting the family members]. As a spirit in the house, the grandfather summons the son and explains the house is haunted and only he can save the family from the horrors in store.
Thus is the premise the series is based on. The performances are hysterical, the camera effects and sound effects are funny, the stories are laughable and silly, but also thought provoking.
I don't watch american network television precisely because most of the shows are crap and appear to be written to a 13-18 year old demographic. This show is completely opposite - it seems written on an adult level, and then is presented and produced to appeal to a wider range.
Again, I say the camera angles, camera work, camera effects and audio effects are cheesy, but they work to the series benefit. I love ALL Asian culture and this is no exception. I love the interplay between the family and the relationships between the characters. Some of the characters are too funny for words [the Necromancer (and his younger brother who says certain lines in English) are absolutely HYSTERICAL. The Grandmother who is always eating, shoving something crunchy in her mouth with a blank look on her face or sipping tea is exquisite in her role. The Goth Lolita made me howl, as does the character who is a knock-off of The Grudge character - with all the hair. Additionally, the father [the role and the actor] - are excellent.
Again, this is NOT american television, so if you're looking for "Friends" or similar type productions, you will be disappointed.
But I found myself watching all 13 episodes back to back, as well as the extras [over two hours worth], along with all the commercials plugging the shows, as well as 'making of'. For $35.99 I'm not so sure, but again - I only paid $2.99 for the set and after viewing, I would have paid eight times that amount for the laughs I got out of it.
Not american television [a good thing] but I will be looking for a Season Two. Mr. Shimizu - I love your work, both movies and television, and would welcome any opportunity to work with you as an actor on ANY of your projects!"