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Tomie: Replay
Tomie Replay
Actors: Sayaka Yamaguchi, Y˘suke Kubozuka, Ken'ichi End˘, Makoto Togashi, Moro Morooka
Director: Tomijiro Mitsuishi
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror
NR     2004     1hr 35min

A young girl is hospitalized. When an ultrasound examination reveals that there?s something moving inside her, a surgeon operates only to find himself faced with ? not a baby, but the disembodied head of a beautiful girl...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Sayaka Yamaguchi, Y˘suke Kubozuka, Ken'ichi End˘, Makoto Togashi, Moro Morooka
Director: Tomijiro Mitsuishi
Creators: Sumiji Miyake, Tatsuhiko Hirata, Tsutomu Tsuchikawa, T˘ji Kat˘, Yasuhiko Higashi, Junji Ito, Satoru Tamaki
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror
Studio: Adness
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 02/17/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 35min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Boz Hubris | Detroitish | 08/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you are enamored with the hack and slash, body parts askew and blood fountains flowing, intellectual twaddle that Hollywood dishes out, then don't watch this. Though there are elements of the common horror flick here, it is done intelligently, albeit strangely, and without the grotesque backwoods mentality of "Friday the 13th" or the blatant ridiculousness of "Scream."

The plot lines are drawn out in the synopsis provided by Amazon but the real story is in the cinematography and vision of the director. There are some very eerie camera angles and dialogue that are literally frightening because you become so engrossed in the startling images that you forget the movie and focus on the artistic endeavor instead. I guess this probably isn't making sense.

So who/what is Tomie? Tomie is a body-less head enveloped in revenge. Tomie is the things we do to each other. Tomie is the unsettled mind trying to control fate. Tomie is the dark spot in the white spances of truth."
"Replay"? Oh yes, definitely...
Kit | New York, NY | 12/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Finally saw ADNESS's release of Tomie: Replay, and I'm happy to say that this is definitely the best Tomie movie I've seen so far. Having already seen three other [bad] Tomie movies before this ("Tomie"; "Forbidden Fruit"; "Another Face"), I went in with low expectations, and got out a very satisfied fan. The movie is very heavily influenced by Ringu, and the plot itself borrows some elements from the "Medical" chapters of the manga, although it should by no means be considered an adaptation of said chapters. Cast-wise, I was plesantly surprised to find Yousuke Kubozuka from the GTO drama as part of the main cast, and he plays his character with a calm, cool, collected approach. Sayaka Yamaguchi made for a cute lead, and I couldn't help but sympathize with her. The other supporting actors did their parts well, with Shun Sugata being the best of them. As for Tomie herself... well, unfortunately, every movie has problems and she's where this one lie. Mai Houshou, while a total babe, just isn't Tomie. Her acting was good and she's no doubt very attractive, but, in my opinion, she just didn't have the right type of beauty for the role. Her hair was all wrong and she lacked the trademark big, round, almond-shaped eyes. I suppose she's still miles above Ando Nozomi from "Forbidden Fruit", but I think the movie would've probably been even better than it is had the directors casted either Miho Kanno or Miki Sakai instead (both actresses, of course, appeared in the original "Tomie" and the sequel to this one, "Tomie: Rebirth" respectively).

I'm also not entirely sure what my stance is on Tomie actually transforming into a monster. In the past (both film-wise and manga-wise), Tomie's appearance has always been portrayed as a very human school girl with an enchanting beauty -- any deformity (post-mortem resurrections aside) that would occur were shown to be purely in the point of view of her victims; ie, Tsukiko's photos, Mr. Mori/Hideo's paintings, etc. The ugly monster marks that would occasionally pop up on her face in this movie were quite new and a somewhat different take to the character -- whether the addition is good or bad is fairly debatable."
Creepy, but incredibly slow
J. Irps | sparta | 03/06/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"this was an interesting concept. i haven't seen the first tomie yet, so i didn't know what really to expect out of this. it is a really interesting and original concept. a head grows in the body of a 6 year old girl and once removed it starts sprouting its own body. everyone who comes in contact with tomie is pretty much screwed.

the story really starts off good, but continues on at a snails pace. this isn't a movie where things just pop out of nowhere which is somewhat of a relief, but there are some welcome gruesome scenes that really caught my interest, *little spoiler* such as the point where the guy who took tomie out of the hospital fell in love with tomie and when he talked to his friend tomie wanted to meet his friend. so he gets jealous and beats her to death with a telephone then drags her body into the bathroom and cuts her head off with a saw (required 2 saw blades to get all the way through).

some parts are pretty graphic which pretty much redeems it for its lack of speed. i also should have payed attention to the fact that it isn't english dubbed. you have to turn the english subtitles on in the specials menu. i didn't mind, but i know a lot of people who don't like reading that much. that is why they don't like foreign films. aside from that little complaint, check this movie out if you are into the japanese horror flicks. if not get something else."
Second In The Series, and Miles Better Than The First
R. Grubb | Minneapolis, MN USA | 11/21/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Perhaps you've watched, "Halloween III: Season of the Witch," and remarked sadly to yourself, "How did it ever come to this?" If you've also watched the snooze-fest that was the first Tomie film, then you probably assumed that the entire Tomie francise fell down the crapper with its very first movie, while most horror films survive about 3 or 4 sequels before ending up there. Fortunately for the viewer, this is not the case.

The story begins with an interesting twist on the established idea of Tomie. A little girl is rushed to the hospital for excruciating pain in her abdomen. An emergency operation is performed, and the doctors remove a tumor that turns out to be a human head. Not just any head, but one that smiles and winks and answers to the name of Tomie. One of the doctors disappears, and his daughter finds his journal. She tries to piece together what exactly happened before his disappearance to produce the insane writings contained therein.

Unlike the first film, "Replay" begins to explore some of the unanswerable questions about Tomie. As I mentioned in my review of the first film, we know that men fall in love with Tomie, go insane and cut her into pieces. But what is interesting to ponder is why this happens. Does she need to be repeatedly murdered, and then come back to life in order to retain her youth? Or does the cutting off of her body parts allow her to replicate herself?

"Replay" explores this aspect of Tomie, and even gives us a bit of insight into her psyche. After her head has been cut off, she grows a new one. She then goes back to where her head was buried and laughs as she burns her own face in front of her. This sadistic act shows Tomie turning her cruel nature on herself, and seems to symbolize a young woman's self hate. In order to continue life in her current form, she wishes to kill off the parts of herself she does not like, that she sees as underdeveloped, or weak.

Of course, Tomie is a monster, and not a real woman, so this is not necessarily what the director intended, or what Junji Ito, writer of the original manga, had in mind. But with a character as bizarre as Tomie, the symbolism may be present or not, depending on your point of view, and it's up to you to decide what she represents.

Near the end, we are treated to another rare glimpse into Tomie's mind. She speaks to the doctor's daughter in undeniable anger about who she is and what happens to her, over and over again. The other girl appears the same age as Tomie, except that one will grow older and find a life, while the other will be killed and come back the same as before. Tomie tells her that men always fall in love with her, and then they kill her, and cut her up into pieces. But she always comes back. Her anger in this scene seems to show how resentful she is of her situation. She is fated to be a victim forever. Although she has the ability to control men for a while, it is always her destiny to be killed by them. She will never be able to experience real love, because the sick, obsessive love is all she is capable of inspiring.

Most importantly, "Replay" contains some scary scenes. I knew "Tomie" was supposed to be a horror movie, but I couldn't figure out what, if anything, was supposed to be scary about the love triangle and the amnesia. We know Tomie comes back to life, but so what? I'm supposed to be afraid of a girl who might steal my boyfriend? In "Replay," the flashback scenes from the doctor's journal are genuinely creepy and haunting, and show us just how scary the hypnotic effect Tomie has on people can be.

Since the story of Tomie is an ongoing cycle, you can begin the story at any point. Unless you are a completist, I would recommend you skip the dull and lifeless "Tomie," and proceed directly to "Tomie: Replay.""