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Rampo Noir
Rampo Noir
Actors: Tadanobu Asano, Yûko Daike, Chisako Hara, Masami Horiuchi, Mikako Ichikawa
Director: Akio Jissoji;Atsushi Kaneko;Hisayasu Sato;Suguru Takeuchi
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
UR     2006     2hr 14min

Language: Japanese w/English subtitlesA vivid adaptation of the short stories of Taro Hirai A.K.A. Edogawa Rampo, often recalled as the Japanese Edgar Allan Poe. Four auteur directors provide a shocking compilation of shor...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Tadanobu Asano, Yûko Daike, Chisako Hara, Masami Horiuchi, Mikako Ichikawa
Director: Akio Jissoji;Atsushi Kaneko;Hisayasu Sato;Suguru Takeuchi
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Fantasy
Studio: Micott & Basara
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 10/31/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 2hr 14min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

4 Subtley Violent, Eerily Erotic Tales from the Japanese Edg
Captain Insanity | NY | 02/08/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Here we have an oddly unique Asian anthology flick
based on the writings of Edogawa Rampo,
widely considered to be the Japanese Edgar Allan Poe.
All 4 shorts are calm, philosophical, and contemplative
(Each with it's own exceptional conclusion)
The violence in each, comes across as poetic & evasive.
Often taking place entirely off-screen, or in some instances, deviously hinted at.
Regardless of it's presence, it is always significant to the plot.
Even the sex comes across as erotic poetry.
Never vulgar, but none the less intriguing.
Here's a brief synopsis & description of each short.

- "Mars Canal" -
5 minute short with no sound.
VERY, VERY confusing & ultimately forgettable.
(I question why they even bothered including this one in the anthology)
It depicts a naked asian man running toward a giant hole in a field.
The scene quickly flashes to either violent sex/ or a naked beating.
And then back to the hole in the field.
In all honesty you're better off skipping this one,
but...since it's so short,
by the time you reach for the remote it will be over.

- "Mirror Hell" -
Detective Akechi, (the re-occuring character in each short) investigates a series of gruesome murders involving a certain brand of mirror that melts the observers face.
EVERY SCENE in this short contains a mirror in it, or is the reflection off one.
My one gripe is, all the violence takes place off-screen =(
(I only say this, because watching various faces melt would've made my millenium.)
Although... there is an unusually erotic scene involving mirrors, rope, and candle wax.
AS well as a mirrored egg, constructed solely for godly re-birth.

- "Caterpillar" -
(Easily the best)
About a man who returns home from war, a hero, but with no arms & legs.
And his bitter wife, who punishes him, (beatings, & cuttings) for doing this to her;
Taking her huband away and leaving her a caterpillar instead.
So she puts up the appearance of good-wife tending to war-god,
when really she feels like a goddess tending to a caterpiller.
Or is that just how it appears on the surface??
Excellent violence, Unique control-themed sex-scenes, and an amazing story make me wish this one had been a feature length film,
instead of just a short.

- "Crawling Bugs" -
This one had the best soundtrack of the bunch,
but had a straight-foward story with schizophrenic pacing.
This one's about a man in love with a famous woman.
A man who hates human contact.
And what he does to reserve the one he loves.
This one had a GREAT ending.
And a line I will not soon forget.....
"Ever since I met you, my life has been hell"

MORAL OF THE STORY:
Despite it's reputation, Horror can still make you think."
Strange, elusive tales
Dancing Ganesha | Bangalore, India | 12/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This film has such a strange somnambulistic feeling about it, disembodied, morbid, yet fantastic, and at the same time, it is sickening in its own way; however, the sicknesses portrayed in this film are done in such a subtle and elusive manner, that it doesn't offend in any way whatsoever. There is also a touch of the erotic here, again, subtle and almost obscure.

While I can't really say that these tales are akin to Poe, as the author is deemed to emulate, there is a strange foreboding element in his tales that is gothic in style. I would highly recommend this movie for more highbrow horror fans."
Rampo Noir... Masters of whacky anthology.
Julian Kennedy | St Pete Florida | 02/22/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Rampo Noir (Rampo Jigoku): 4 out of 10: My first thought while watching Rampo was Zardoz, that wacky beyond belief Sean Connery sci-fi film. My second thought was Yoko Ono. Both those thoughts, along with Johnny Got his Gun and Sherlock Holmes, flooded me during the four short stories that make up this J-horror anthology.

First the good news this J-horror is one-hundred percent pasty white ghost free. Yup not an insect screeching wet haired concubine of the damned to be found in any of the pictures. The bad news. Well let's look at the four pictures.

Mars Canal: 1 out of 10: Naked man in arty picture flashes back at a violent rape while a rare static fills the otherwise mute soundtrack. Yup this was the Yoko picture. Fortunately it's only seven minutes.

Mirror Hell: 6 out of 10: Think Sherlock Holmes but Watson is a dominatrix. Very straight forward narrative and is easily the most accessible of the bunch.

The Caterpillar: 5 out of 10: is the Johnny Got his Gun picture. War hero suffers domineering bride with an over the top amputee fetish. Not as bad as I just made it sound but close.

Crawling Bugs: 6 out of 10: If this film is ever remade by a Hollywood studio I have two words for the main lead in this segment. Crispin Glover. This tale of obsession over both an actress and the bugs crawling on her skin would make a nifty Showtime Masters of Horror segment. Crawling Bugs is very arty. I could see this written, directed and starring Mr. Glover who certainly shares the films over the top weirdness.

In fact the whole Rampo Noir movie feels a little like a made for cable anthology series except for the first film that defiantly has NEA grant written all over it. Rampo is definitely different, but too often it is a little slow, and overall it simply is not all that good.

The films (outside the fact they are all based on short stories by Japanese author Rampo Edogawa) have virtually nothing to do with each other in tone and are not strong enough to stand on their own merit. The overall package still does kind of remind me of Zardoz. A film to show your jaded friends who think they have seen everything."