A prequel to ‘Wizard of Darkness’, covered yesterday, telling us how Misa Kurio, Magical Occult give of Apathy, became the milquetoast badass we know and… look at with indifference as everyone else is cooler.
In today’s film instead of wandering around a school of occult enthuisiasts repeatedly saying ‘I’m a witch’, in the same way Yosser Hughes from ‘Boys from the Black Stuff’ walked around trying to get a job or Groot said ‘I am Groot’, is instead today is a damsel in distress being dragged around a town by her carer as zombified people (but only one at a time) slowly follow them. Classic low budget ‘within the speed limit’ hi-octane action with a shot of Diazepam just in case it blows your mind.
So we begin with little Misa being put through an occult ceremony to indoctrinate her into the lifestyle. The carer is a pretty boy with make up on. Lots of baritone voices and hooded robes. Because of the first film you might suspect these are all teenage girls so they make sure to show the old men’s faces. Misa is scared because this is bad satanic occult magic and she is all about that good magic involving occult pentagrams of protection. Or the old men just scare her as they probably going commando under those robes. We never find out.
Years pass and the pretty boy looks older. Genre savvy Spidey-sense is tingling he is going to die at some point. There is a fat, bald guy stalking them by pretending he is a robotic zombie. He isn’t pretty so obviously he must be evil according to movie logic. Actually he is just a random guy possessed and made to chase Misa and the carer silently.
At some point a police captain gets possessed and shoots his subordinates in a small police hut office as carer and Misa pass through.
‘Taicho-sama, I’ve looked up to you ever since I was a boy! Ever since I played with my friends on the street and saw you patrolling. Taicho-sama! I remember your smile as you watched us play in the park. Taicho-sama! Taicho-sama it’s because of you I wanted to be a police officer! Taicho-sama! Taicho-sama! I lov-“
Bang, bang, bang… Bang.
Character development. Just like the teenage girls from the first film.We never see any consequences of this ever again.
Then we have a long flash back of exposition. Misa (Kimika Yoshino) is the messiah of the occult, a sacrifice or something like that. Who knows? Who cares? It’s a chase film like Terminator. The flashback gets overly whimsical as if this is meant to be a different genre of movie. Actually this might have been when the starting bit was and we only saw a glimpse at start. It makes no difference it’s all in the past now.
Fat man go boom.
End of the fake out antagonist’.
Now a pig tailed girl, who was one of Misa’s friends during the time when she was hiding out in the open by going to a normal high school under her real name, is the new stalker acting like a zombie robot. The drama has suddenly intensified! Will Misa have the strength of character to kill her friend? Oh no pigtails-chan we hardly had time to care for you before you went evil! And because you are ‘cute’ we as the audience must feel this is far worse a tagedy that an overweight adult being possessed and blown up unceremoniously. We will never forget how you used to giggle with your friends and… yup…umm.. that’s it. Character development.
Misa starts reading some mystical script and the room shakes. Cool ‘old guy’ carer, because anyone over 25 is immediately deemed old and over the hill according to Japanese drama, tells her not to do that. Stern face… Stern pout to camera to make the housewives’ knees tremble. She has her locket from the first film. They keep showing it. Oh good is she going to be saved by another ex-machina. Her guardian loses faith. ‘No Sempai don’t lose faith’! They kiss. Well that was kind of awkward. He is definitely a dead man walking now according to movie logic. He tells her he loved her mother. Okay now that is really awkward…
This is no long running TV soap opera drama that’s run out of original storylines and needs to get a ratings boost! Less emotion, more action! Cue battle!
(Cue Pokemon battle music)
- Carer-kun uses ‘Crush Grip’.
- Carer-kun tears off Stalker-chan’s arm!
- Stalker-chan uses ‘Bounce’ and does so around the room while also using ‘Flail’!
- It has little effect…
- Carer-kun uses the move ‘Cut’!
- Carer-Kun cuts Stalker-chan in half!
- It’s super effective!
- Stalker-chan is defeated!
- Carer-kun gains some EXP!
(Cue Pokemon battle victory music).
But shock revelation! He is now vunerable to the robot stalker possession having used the last of his strength for a needlessly dramatic kamikaze attack to defeat Stalker-chan! Oh what dramatic irony! the over protective ally is now the unstoppable purser of Misa who so far has done nothing by herself! Definitely didn’t see that coming.
No not at all.
Within a minute Misa runs into the circular lecture theatre with a pentagram drawn on the floor and corpses strewn everywhere. She is trapped.
Suddenly, without precedent, Stalker Carer-Kun pulls a sword out of his forehead. No he didn’t get stabbed in the head by Misa – that would have our protagonist actually actively doing something and that is ridiculous – nor did he ever allude to this technique. No he just pulls a big old sword out of his third eye chakra.
But don’t worry because Misa does the power speak. Boom he is down for the count.
…Oh but wait what is this? A space flea out of nowhere? I think it might be.
A girl in an occult robe and using a man’s voice (which is obviously a fetish of this film series) appears!
She summons a very nice looking dragon, ghost, demon, thing…
…Which instantly kills her.
Yup, big bad of the film, who I never saw before, just got wasted within a minute of being introduced. Bye, bye Prototype Cult-chan at least you died a little less ridiculously than your chronological successor.
Misa walks away from the scene. Goes to the apartment she had been living in while in hiding and sees all her friends corpses. Says a Wiccan chant and we are straight into the credits with an inappropriate pop song playing.
Review – Compare what the cover of the manga looks like and what the film looks like. This series had clear budget constraints. Again I watched without subtitles so maybe Prototype Cult-chan was mentioned, or was one of Misa’s close freinds (again) but really these films have been far better just soaking it in without wasting time on needless context. Again a low budget film where most of it went on the summoned creature at the end. A bit of a change from the first but again Misa, our cool badass protagonist, does nothing. In the 90s Japan really had a thing for these kind of ‘heroes’ who are in situations where they rely on wveryone around them to be the active participants. Just look at Shinji Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion or the main couple from Battle Royale. It lets the side characters develop more but these are not ensemble films so instead you just have a blank character being processed from one scene to the next. A silly film. Watch at double speed and enjoy the silliness.
There is a third film but I didn’t bother to watch it. Hope you enjoyed this irreverent review.
For some reason the spacing of the first first paragraphs refused to space properly despite toying with it.
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