MTI // 2005 // 92 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Brendan Babish (Retired) // May 25th, 2007
It is the desire to eat the meat of the one you love.
The Last Supper is a gruesome Japanese horror flick (are there any other kind of Japanese horror flicks?) written and directed by Osamu Fukutani. It's the story of Dr. Yuji Kotorida, a handsome plastic surgeon who's so renowned in his field he's become a bit of a minor celebrity. However, Yuji wasn't always so attractive; in fact, while still in medical school he was downright homely -- and painfully lovelorn for a fellow student. In an attempt to quench his unrequited sexual longings, he decided to fry up and eat some of the excess fat that was liposuctioned out of a middle aged woman's buttocks.
To give you an idea of the mostly humorless tone of the movie, this scene is played straight -- make no mistake, this is no Eating Raoul. But thankfully, Fukutani does not show the same amount of reverence throughout, and when Yuji's murder spree starts, the grotesque violence does elicit a few titters -- along with a fair amount of uncomfortable squirming.
You see, Yoji is not satisfied merely ingesting the excised fat of the vain Japanese upper class. He begins seeking out live women to kill and devour. For Yoji, eating a woman is commensurate with having intercourse with her. And on this new diet he suddenly changes; he becomes healthier, more confident, and more attractive to the opposite sex. Of course, this allows him to lure more victims to his apartment, whom he promptly consumes.
There's a lot to object to in The Last Supper, and I'm not even speaking specifically of the cannibalism, though that will certainly turn off many. What made me uncomfortable was the film's humorless depiction of graphic, masochistic violence. The movie American Psycho also depicted a dashing serial killer who seduced and slayed his female victims, but that film used violence to comment slyly on the vacuousness of an upper-class material lifestyle. I couldn't find any clever subtext in The Last Supper to justify a violence that provides no thrills or titillation whatsoever. I don't consider myself a prude, but an extended scene of Yuji feasting on the flesh of a woman while longingly gazing at her severed head is neither entertaining nor particularly original. At least Hannibal Lector had the creativity to mix it up a little, like when he fed Ray Liotta his own brain.
Even those who are turned on by banal graphic violence will probably find themselves uninterested in The Last Supper. For a mass murderer, Yuji is incredibly bland, neither rejoicing in his evil nor suffering from any sort of remorse. But somehow Yuji's victims manage to be even blander than him. With the exception of a homicidal nursing assistant, who we see far too little of, every woman in the film is nondescript and interchangeable. This combination of bland villain and bland victims make it impossible for the audience to sympathize with Yuji or strongly root against him, or even care at all for that matter.
Additionally, The Last Supper has an odd, dark cinematography, with several scenes full of smoke and lit by pastel colors. It reminded me of those soft core Cinemax After Dark films, only it has much less sex and far more cannibalism. In other words, it wasn't as much fun.
MTI has put out a bare bones edition of The Last Supper, though I can't fault them too much because I don't know who would really want to delve any deeper into the making of the film. The picture, especially during the night scenes, is soft and muddy, and the sound is fair, though there is nothing on the soundtrack one would probably wish to hear too clearly.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Japanese)
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated R