Did you know that in Japan, Santa is looked at as both a bringer of Christmas joy and a homicidal maniac? Judge David Johnson learned that bit of cultural trivia from this import horror movie, where he gets all of his information of foreign countries.
You better be good for goodness sake.
Two 45-minute tales of tasty, whacked-out J-horror for your consumption.
Facts of the Case
Japanese horror-meister Kazuo Umezz serves another dose of his brand of horror, which, judging from this disc, involves a mix of over-the-top bloodshed and ridiculous CGI effects.
• "The Present"
• "Death Make"
This isn't a bad pair of horror shorts. And, surprisingly for J-horror, the creepy-ass-little-girl presence is kept to a minimum; in fact, the little runts only turned up briefly in "Death Make," and even that cameo wasn't as skin-crawling as it could have been. This much-beloved and overused go-to J gimmick has been replaced with two seriously demented baddies: evil Santa Claus and Crazy Crab Creature.
• Evil Santa Claus
The proceedings get even zanier when the scenes shift to Santa's subterranean torture realm. There he purees bodies, amputates even more limbs, and stuffs the sinew into big, blood-soaked sacks. I laughed at a line earlier in the film when a parent told her daughter that she better be good or "Santa will come to get you." Though that's not really how the Western mythology goes, but, man, after seeing the kind of violence a homicidal Kris Kringle is capable of, I will do everything in my power to stay off of the naughty list.
In what is to become a theme for this disc, the story wraps up with a confusing twist finale that actually twists multiple times until the straight-forward slasher fun that had preceded the climax is tarnished somewhat.
• Crazy Crab Creature
Media Blasters delivers another solid disc for its obscure findings from the Land of the Rising Sun. The 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen is very clean, though the transfer backfires during the heavy visual effects sequences, which make the already iffy CGI work look worse. Japanese 2.0 stereo track provides the sound, subtitled in English. For the bonuses, Umezz offers two brief interviews, supplemented by two other cast interviews, a nifty, 15-minute making-of documentary and trailers.
I had fun with this collection, particularly the gratuitous gore in "The Present," but unsatisfying endings and a below average showing with "Death Make," holds this collection back.
The accused was gets only a smidgen of coal in its stocking.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Media Blasters
• Kazuo Umezz Interview
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