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Living Hell: A Japanese Chainsaw Massacre (2004)

Sei Hiraizumi , Hirohito Honda  |  R |  DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sei Hiraizumi, Hirohito Honda, Noboru Mitani, Naoko Mori (II), Umitarou Nozaki
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Subversive Cinema
  • DVD Release Date: October 19, 2004
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002S64VE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #362,219 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Living Hell: A Japanese Chainsaw Massacre" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Bound to a wheelchair, life has been difficult for poor Yasu (Hirohito Honda of Battle Royale). His mother has vanished, his father and brother think he's crazy, and his sister shelters him from the outside world. But Yasu has yet to experience the true meaning of torture until new relatives mysteriously move in. Labeled "The Japanese Chainsaw Massacre" (minus the chainsaws) by fans, director Shugo Fujii has fashioned a mysterious horror film with stylish sequences that pay homage to directors Brian De Palma and Alfred Hitchcock. Filled with moments of sheer terror, Living Hell joins ranks alongside Ringu (The Ring) and Ju-On (The Grudge) as a masterpiece of modern Asian horror.


"Living Hell has all the elements to make it a classic cult horror film." -- Video Store, August 8-14, 2004

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the hype November 12, 2004
I am a huge fan of Japanese horror. I try to get my hands on as many of these films as possible. One of the things I especially like about J-Horror are the originality of the ideas and the emphasis on truly scaring the viewer by taking the horror seriously instead of reverting to self-referentiality and comedy. "Living Hell" seemed to promise a different type of J-Horror; instead of subtlety and spookiness (with little blood) this one was advertised as a gory bloodbath, "the Japanese TCM" in other words. It also compared it to other modern horror chef d'oeuvres as "Evil Dead" and "Cabin Fever". Huh? Have I watched the same film? Frankly, "Living Hell" does not in any way approach the level of ferocious originality those films had and I fail to see the similarities.

2 brothers and their sister, all in their twenties, share the same house that is owned by their father, often away on business trips. One day they receive word that two distant relatives (a 70-year old grandmother and 22-year old granddaughter) whose family were murdered will be moving in with them. As they move in, we see right away that the two are mighty strange; the grandmother is senile and barely says anything, same with the granddaughter who is completely mute. Not only do they never talk but they are curiously devoid of any expression. Wheelchair-bound Yasu will soon discover there is something mighty wrong with these two and soon falls under the guise of their torture techniques.

The film started off okay, as we were presented to some very intriguing characters. You wouldn't think a 70-year old grandmother and her frail 22-year old granddaughter would look scary...but they are!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing January 31, 2006
Either the people that praise the gore in this flick don't know what real gore is or I rented a cut version of this flick. I gave it two stars for originality and for atmosphere (Very spooky.) I was very dissatisfied with the make-shift ending and terribly dissapointed with the effects. Don't bother.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
It should be a crime to compare this with Tobe Hooper's classic Chainsaw Massacre. This is a terrible movie and a complete waste of your life.

If you want to see a strange and violemt Japanese horror film, pick up All Night Long instead. It is miles above this garbage.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
if you like dark asian horror then this is for you this starts out with and ends with the darkness of the asian filmakers

and the end is a shocker

think you know the woman who are putting the star in pain

you dont
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2.0 out of 5 stars An Ultimately Unsatisfying J-Horror Flick January 20, 2007
When most people think of Japanese horror films, they tend to think of supernatural tales such as "Ring" and "Ju-on" rather than slasher fare. "Living Hell" may be an illustration of why. I received this movie as a Christmas gift after reading several (inexplicably) favorable reviews of it on various horror websites. The premise of the film, that a young man in a wheelchair is a prisoner in his own home and is subject to the cruel tortures of a mysterious old woman and her eerie young caregiver, is quite intriguing on paper.

Indeed, for an all-too-brief while the film looks as if it may live up to the hype as the opening moments transition smoothly from grisly gorehound fare to a somewhat more brooding atmosphere. That being said, this film is nothing if not unsubtle. The foreboding mood lasts only a few minutes before being cast aside. The potential for psychological terror is there, but seems to be ignored in favor of one (supposedly) shocking scene after the next. This all reaches a crescendo in the final 20 minutes or so of the film, with a couple of "twists" so obvious that I actually thought the film was building up for a "swerve" that would suddenly take it in another direction and leave me wowed. Alas, the obvious plot twists take place exactly as expected with nothing but a couple of gross-out scenes at the end to keep even a modicum of your attention.

For all I've said, "Living Hell" comes dangerously close to being a watchable movie (hence 2 stars instead of 1), but the howler of an ending will leave most viewers in the cold.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I WAS IN LIVING HELL! January 25, 2006
This movie is not so bad you'd turn it off,but it was

so typical of most(75%)horror films today.After seeing JU-ON

(by far the best horror film made between 2000-2006)I really

had my hopes up,which I admit it's not fare to compare this

with that masterpiece(dare I say that,well in 10yrs JU-ON

will be considered that, it's that great!)but I was let down.

I'm not going to go thru a lot of writing,just look at James

& Morado reviews there really good and to the point.Why 2 stars

the old womans daughter was the only thing,and I do mean the

only thing good about this picture,she was freaky looking

but o.k. we need more,like music,the soundtrack was as if

the director bought a keyboard from K-MART.Music is so

important to a horror film just watch CARRIE(76)HALLOWEEN,


and of course the best for last THE OMEN(76)and it's very

obvious that the reviewers who scored this picture so high

probably have not seen any of these.NOTE:Amazon buyers it

is not to late to get these horror masterpieces typed above



the movies above and stay away from this.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars ericbarmore reviews
Subtitled in English.The movie starts off really slow and with it being in Japanese it just makes the movie slower.If you don't like Subtitled movies this is not for you.
Published on September 9, 2011 by eric barmore
3.0 out of 5 stars Good scary and horrific scenes but not convincing
It has everything in terms of atmosphere and the way torture is shown. They wanted to create a masterpiece, but it just does not come across convincingly. Read more
Published on December 2, 2009 by K.L. Frederick
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally...a REAL horror film!
With so many pseudo-horror films on the market these days it's easy to grow dissillusioned with the whole genre. Read more
Published on January 19, 2006 by Kath
1.0 out of 5 stars More like a bad independent film
I don't know if this film is an independent film or film that actually had a decent budget to work with, but it sure look like one of those really bad independent film. Read more
Published on December 18, 2005 by James
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Horror Film I've Seen in Ages
This film absolutely rocks. It has everything you could want, freaks, torture, an evil homage to "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane", insanity, eyeball sucking, gore, etc. Read more
Published on May 30, 2005 by Kathleen
3.0 out of 5 stars Kind of a let down:
Went in with high hopes...It had creepy moments, especially the old woman and the young girl. The lead character in the wheelchair was miscast in my opinion. Read more
Published on May 18, 2005 by Morado
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad, don't get confused about the 'chainsaw' bit.
I rented this movie, and I was pretty pleased. Don't let it fool you or get your hopes all high when people call it "The Japanese Chainsaw" film. Read more
Published on May 9, 2005 by J. M.
3.0 out of 5 stars An ok, but cheesy, foreign horror flick
I normally don't dabble to much in the foreign subtitled horror movies, but when the cover of this one said it was the foreign version of the Texas chainsaw massacre, I just had to... Read more
Published on April 27, 2005 by sinisterfiend666
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