HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  9 Souls Born To Run
Year: 2003
Director: Toshiaki Toyoda
Stars: Kôji Chihara, Yoshio Harada, Jun Inoue, Itsuji Itao, Misaki Ito, Kee, Jun Kunimura, Kotomi Kyono, Akaji Maro
Genre: Comedy, Drama, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: 9 Souls is exactly the sort of film I can’t imagine being made in the West – it’s sometimes sweet and funny, other times brutal and tasteless. The souls of the title are a group of convicts, who are sharing a cell and discover a passage in the floor that leads to the outside world. The gang procure an old van and hit the road with the intention of finding and recovering some counterfeit loot that a former cellmate has hidden. The gang range from the out-right dangerous (epileptic bomber Inui, businessman Torakichi, who murdered his own son) to the deeply sympathetic (dwarf doctor Shiratori, imprisoned for committing euthanasia). Their journey across country leads them to a variety of strange encounters, but inevitably their fugitive status catches up with them.

Nine lead characters are a lot to juggle, and inevitably director Toshiaki Toyoda is unable to develop them to any great depth. Ostensively, the film is seen through the eyes of the newest cellmate, young Michiru, responsible for killing his abusive father. Michiru watches from the sidelines, as the gang laugh, fight and dream about the loot they will soon be getting their hands on. It’s sometimes difficult to keep track of which character is which, but Toyoda doesn’t really worry about spending time with each one, relying more upon dialogue and mood than strong characterisation to move the film along.

The first half is played out as a surreal comedy. The gang’s escape from prison is ridiculously easy, and there any number of hilariously bizarre moments – the group disguised either as women or with giant moustaches, Shiratori encountering a stripper he once performed a life-saving operation on in a weird out-of-the-way strip club, Fujio revealing he was once the star of a porn movie. And one gloriously tasteless scene sees a few of the escapees ‘relieving’ their pent-up sexual frustrations on, er, a flock of sheep. Throughout, the dialogue flows naturally between the actors, while the consistently inventive photography and chiming guitar music create a quirky, dreamlike feel.

The convicts eventually reach the location of the hidden treasure, but what they find is not the expected fortune. So one-by-one the group separates, and with the strange protection the group offered gone, real life comes crashing in. Some make doomed attempts to re-enter the legitimate world, some try to continue their lives of crime, while others are victims of chance. Safe to say that there’s not really a happy ending for any of these people, but Toyoda still manages to close on an upbeat, quietly moving note.

9 Souls does have trouble sustaining its 120 minute running time, and the switch from comedy to tragedy is somewhat jarring. That said, this mix of whimsy and brutality is common to many Japanese directors – Takeshi Kitano, Takashi Miike – and this inventive, thoughtful film often rivals those directors' best work.
Reviewer: Daniel Auty

 

This review has been viewed 15749 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Darren Jones
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: