(2008, Jap, 72 min) Dir Hiroya Hino. Cast Mitsuo Ibaraki, Yukie Inoue.
In the horror genre examples of sexism and of female empowerment rub shoulder so frequently and so vigorously it surprises me that the whole genre isn’t constantly engulfed in the resultant wildfire. There are plenty of examples of both but there are some of the former that go so far as to have no parallel among the more progressive end. This is one such film. I’m not going to go into detail as to the plot and so on as it’s beside the point – the film exists for no reason other than the examination scenes. Despite the fact that Japan’s censorship prevents any depiction of the area relevant to the film they still try their best – there is pixelling, there are POV shots from the anatomical perspective and there are shots that are so close to the matter at hand that they are abstracted into uncomfortable fields of pink. The fact that there is nothing actually graphic works in the maker’s favour though, with bloodied instruments and removed matter in conjunction with the patient’s pained face suggesting unfathomable grotesquery in the viewer’s mind. My recommendation: avoid unless you like brain damage. Postscript: the horror genre, like any other, relies on people to vote with their money and their interest and though two sequels followed this the series has now thankfully met its end.