Most helpful positive review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
More valuable for being culturally thought-provoking, but still decent V-cinema.
on January 25, 2007
Hideshi Hino's Theater of Horror (Various directors, 2004)
Those who are familiar with Hideshi Hino's groundbreaking films in the Guinea Pig series-- Flower of Flesh and Blood is one of those few releases that can truly be said to have forever changed the face of film as we know it today-- are going to be somewhat surprised, and probably let down, by the six short movies in the Hideshi Hino's Theater of Horror box. Hino steps out from behind the cameras and lets other directors work with his world-famous manga, and the result looks more like a low-budget TV series than the ultra-gory Guinea Pig films.
The ultimate result of this, however, is to point out even more starkly the differences between the American and Japanese cultures of film. The six films here are almost alarmingly low-budget, the kind of thing that in America would be relegated to independent channels at 2:30 on Saturday morning, and would have the appropriate quality. In these six films, however, the bargain-basement quality of the filming, and the microbudget special effects, couch rich, complex scripts with interesting characters and interesting situations in which they can perform. Some of the films are straightforward morality plays of the type one expects from Hino manga (assuming, of course, one has read Hino manga), while others are labyrinthine pieces of ambiguity (Death Train stands out here, as diffuse as any four-hour Soviet epic, but concentrated and horrific). None of them requires a great amount of time or attention, stretching from forty-three to sixty-one minutes each, but while each is on the screen, it will demand both from you.
All in all, a fine little box, both less and more than I was expecting. I'll be watching these almost as much as I watch Hino's contributions to the Guinea Pig series. *** ½