AKA Monster Killer.
Well, movie viewers of, ummmmmm, “certain” tastes know that Japan, and the area of East Asia in general, can supply inspired lunacy, often unlike anything you’ve seen before.
Red Tears fits nicely in that bracket. The plot is just an excuse for a series of enjoyable set-pieces intersperesed with moments of tender romance. The romance may be accompanied by a lot of humour but it’s still surprisingly sweet. However, I guess as long as I want to pretend to be putting some thought into my many outbursts of verbal diarrhoea I should try to sum up the plot. Well there’s a killer who would seem to have a penchant for beheading his/her victims. There is also a monster causing quite a few problems. These two things may be related, they may even be one and the same character, or they may not.
Director Takanori Tsujimoto (who also co-wrote the thing) creates a slice of barmy brilliance in an effortless way that only our friends in Japan and South Korea seem to have mastered. Well, to be fair, China doesn’t do too badly and every Bollywood movie has the potential for greatness but I’ll stick to praising Japan for the purposes of this review.
The cast are all slightly over the top but highly entertaining with it. I couldn’t pick one person out for particular praise so I’ll just namecheck them all and say that Yuma Ishigaki, Natsuki Kato, Yasuaki Kurata, Ayaka Morita, Masahiro Nagal and Koji Nakamura carry every moment of absurdity and crazy gore and carry it well.
Things don’t exactly rattle along at a breakneck pace but viewers can sit and enjoy the movie, happy in the knowledge that some piece of inspired bloodletting or acrobatic fighting is never too far away. The main plotline weaves its way through set-pieces that include some enjoyable practical effects, some surprisingly effective “wire-fu” and, of course, comedy that comes from both the interactions of the characters and also the way in which people are physically damaged in a number of demented ways. There’s no truly memorable dialogue in the script or camera moves/shots taking the time to show something highly artistic – this is pure and simple entertainment through and through.
Imagine, if you can, that someone put a copy of I Saw The Devil in a blender with a copy of Split Second (a great Rutger Hauer movie that you should track down if you’ve yet to see it) and a number of Takashi Miike movies and you have some small idea of what a fun mixed bag of goodies Red Tears is.
DIRECTOR: TAKANORI TSUJIMOTO
WRITER: TAKANORI TSUJIMOTO, EIICHI YONEKAWA
STARS: YUMA ISHIGAKI, NATSUKI KATO, YASUAKI KURATA, AYAKA MORITA, MASAHIRO NAGAI, KOJI NAKAMURA
RUNTIME: 88 MINS