Dead Leaves Constantin Werner's award winning debut feature "Dead Leaves" is the story of a young man who travels with the corpse of his deceased girlfriend from New York City to West Virgina. When Laura (Elizabeth Gonde... more »k) falls to an accidental death her already unbalanced boyfriend Joey (Halm Abramsky) suffers a breakdown. He steals her body and escapes on a self-destructive journey through lonely motels and rainy villages. While Joey is trying to preserve Laura's fading beauty in strange rituals he is haunted by the memories of the happy and dark moments of their relationship. As she starts to decay physically, he decends mentally and emotionlly......« less
Close the Door, They're Coming Through The Windows...
Marc Ruby? | Warren, MI USA | 10/23/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is possible the most frantic anime I have ever seen. Retro and Panda, who look like characters straight out of FLCL awake on a dark street with no memories and a yen for violence. After a violent robbery and chase scene they are packed of to a prison of no return on the moon. They are fed, purges, and packed of into a cell where a momentary indiscretion somehow catapults them into a jailbreak.
From this point the story becomes on long chase and fight scene, complete with escalating bosses at the end of each level. In bits and pieces we find out Retro and Panda's previous history, and the secrets behind the walls of Dead Leaves. Nothing really ever quite makes sense, but it really isn't necessary that it does. Dead Leaves is a 'show off' piece, where twisted creativity and virtuoso animation are the real purpose of the show.
It's hard to believe that this comes from the same people who put together the atmospheric "Blood: The Last Vampire" and the beautifully drawn "Kai Doh Maru." The closest analog would be the aforementioned FLCL, without all the quiet parts. The first watching leaves a chaotic impression and it takes several more viewings before you start to pick up on a lot of the sight gags.
This isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea, especially for a US audience which has become accustomed to the new generation of anime. But it is fun in a loud, lewd, hyperactive fashion. At the first viewing the writer confided that what he wanted was for the audience to get drunk and start dancing. I'm not sure if it will take you that way, but it gives you a good idea of the driving force behind the film."
ORIGINAL, INSANE, AND AN ALL-AROUND GREAT TIME!!
Jordan T. Bryant | Normal, Illinois | 09/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The reason the reviewer doesn't understand the beauty of this movie is because they were looking for a traditional anime style movie...DEAD LEAVES IS NOT TRADITIONAL! I own Blood: The Last Vampire and have seen many of this production team's works, BUT I have NEVER SEEN ANYTHING THIS GOOD! The reason that it is so good is because there is NO STRUCTURE!! If you are looking for a good time, good laugh, and a twisted new look, then this movie is a MUST! If you keep an open mind, you will experience a wicked, memomorable movie. WELL WORTH THE RISK."
Migraine inducing gore fest.
D. Williams | Birmingham, AL United States | 01/31/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I kept thinking the animation style of the credits and first few scenes was just some temporary effect that would fade to a more traditional style, but no - it stayed that way through the whole "ride." There are a few jokes, a few situations that induced a chuckle, but for the most part this is just an excuse to show dozens upon dozens of "characters" killed, maimed, mutilated, and pulverized in the most horrible of ways possible in the short hour or so that this lasts. Add in the toilet humor, the sodomy "gags" (one inmate has a powerful drill for his "equipment") and the shear volume of bloodletting and you have what amounts to a basically pointless romp. They try to insert a point and a story with a unique poem that the two heros can barely remember as they are suffering from amnesia, but in the end nothing is really resolved - and you are left wondering what the point was. Would have given it a one, but I have to admit, it made me laugh a couple of times."
Antonio D. Paolucci | Beaver Falls, PA | 01/18/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Dead Leaves was one of those anime that I was iffy about from the moment I saw it on the movie shelf. Looking at the case, it doesn't exactly look like anime, the characters look strange, and the movie itself, as is the wont of Manga, was short. Luckily, it was inexpensive. The store I bought it from had a sale on Manga titles and I picked this up, along with R.O.D. and Kai Doh Maru. After watching all of them, I considered myself lucking, being two for three (see my review for Kai Doh Maru).
To explain, I watched Dead Leaves last and was already jaded because of Kai Doh Maru. I was prepared to be disappointed when I popped it in. And, after the initial confusing moments of this anime, I was expecting it. But then came the action, a fiesta of explosions and a**kicking. The two main characters, Pandy, named for the tattoo over her eye, and Retro, named for the TV he uses for a face, are masters of destruction, and prove that in the initial scene of action where they almost completely destroy a city all on their own. Eventually, though, they are captured and imprisoned, and the action moves aside for some pretty suggestive comedy. Strange sex and nudity fill the next twenty minutes or so, until Pandy and Retro finally decide to make their escape, and once again, in comes the action.
The story is confusing and hard to explain, so I'll paraphrase the back of the DVD: Character wake up with no memory and no clothes, characters go on crime spree, characters are captured, characters discover the secrets of the prison known as Dead Leaves, characters decide death and destruction is the best way to deal with the secrets. I've written it the way I did because, well, the story is unimportant. Top notch animation from Production I.G. is what drives this anime, from start to finish.
And I'm thankful to Dead Leaves for one reason: it took the taste out of my mouth left behind by Kai Doh Maru.
The one problem I had with this anime was the length. I'm getting tired of spending so much money on something that doesn't even go past an hour. I wish it was at least ten minutes longer, making it a full hour and therefore a movie.
That, however, is no reason not to own Dead Leaves, especially if you enjoy quality animation. In many ways, this anime is similar to FLCL and Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi in that both of these anime use a certain amount of chaos in their animation style. Dead Leaves, however, goes beyond that. It's visual madness, and one I'd recommend to hardcore fans of anime."
Zany fun in the vein of Scud, Aeon Flux and Tank Girl
Mentat Paradigm | Miami, FL USA | 12/07/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Simply put, Dead Leaves is not for everyone. The action is frantic and uncontrollable, the plot is reminiscent of something Lewis Carroll would dream up, and it has an almost childish sense of humor. Viewing it for the first time was a complete assault on my senses; Scenes move forward at such a break-neck pace that I can't help but think the animators all suffer from ADD.
Dead Leaves is an ode to senseless, over-the-top violence. At times, it almost feels like an animated version of the indie comic, Scud: The Disposable Assassin. There are some definite western influences present, and the animation is very reminiscent of Peter Chung's works.
If it seems like I've been relying heavily on comparisons to other works to describe Dead Leaves, you'd be correct. On its own merits, it's nearly indescribable. Suffice it to say that, if you enjoyed any of the works I've mentioned so far, then you should at least rent Dead Leaves. If you think anime is all about weird sexual fetishes and characters with big eyes (or if you judge all anime by how it stacks up to Dragonball Z), then don't bother."