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  Another Heaven
Year: 2000
Director: Joji Iida
Stars: Yosuke Eguchi, Yoshiro Harada, Miwako Ichikawa, Akira Emoto
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: It’s little wonder Chizuru’s mad. Having to put up with chat-up lines like, “You slice your own fish? Lucky fish!” she’s bound to be a little angry. But breaking folk’s necks, pulling out their brains and cooking exotic meals with them is a bit much, even for some hard-line feminist! Still, Chizuru’s a nice girl who shaves her legs and isn’t averse to putting on a bit of lippy every so often, so it’s a real shame when she ends up dead whilst trying to seduce three sad professional types to their doom. But now, one of the surviving victims has become the killer. What in God’s name is going on? It’s time to put archetypal chalk and cheese detective team Manabu and Tobitaka on the case!

The killer seems to have an obsession with Manabu – exactly why is never explained. During one action-packed shootout he kisses him smack on the lips and gives him a limp wrist. Well, I suppose this kind of explains why Manabu’s been knocking back groin-tremblingly sexy airhead Gail Tyldesly clone Asako for the entirety of the film! When this killer eventually dies though, another one appears, one who also inexplicably seems to have this strange obsession with Manabu…

And so it goes on… Truth is, the killer is actually a puddle of water from the future getting into people’s heads through their ears. Known as “Something” (yeah, I know), it’s come here because Heaven is so boring without murders and car-crashes and it needs some excitement! You think I’m fucking joking! And during the final showdown, Tobitaka (Bergerac with an attitude) just mops it up with a towel. You think I’m joking! (To kill it properly though, you have to chuck meths on it and set it on fire. So now you know.)

Another Heaven is a weird film alright, although I personally suspect that its weirdness comes from its storyline’s desperate cult aspirations and pretentious profoundness. If you chop all the overlong meaningful dialogue from this two-hours-plus movie and you’ll actually get a pretty decent picture. There’s enough high-adrenaline action here and enough blood-and-guts to satisfy hardcore horror fans. I mean, there’s an action-packed white-knuckle rooftop chase for starters, and a really gross shot of Chizuru dragging her broken ankle across a kitchen floor. I’ve gotta admit, I do like the insinuation that TV violence causes real violence, a remorselessly lampooning those who actually believe that crap! The funniest moment has Manabu knocking seven barrels out of a potential bird – the silly git, he should have waited ‘til after he’d got his oats! But it’s just all this procrastinating, this philosophising that goes way over my balding Mr. Joe Average head. I mean, even a dumb fuck like me can tell that it means absolutely nothing…

Although I haven’t seen it, there’s Another Heaven TV series, which actually doesn’t surprise me. It’s slick, glossy and has a plot that could potentially last for ever (yet again, I reckon that was Iida’s intention all along, to create some kind of cult phenomenon). In fact, fans of The X-Files, Buffy, Stargate et-al would no doubt love it. I’m more of a Minder man myself. But still, if you are looking for a decent slice of gory Japanese horror, then you could do worse than this.

Aka Anazahevun
Reviewer: Wayne Southworth

 

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