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
   
 
  Aragami Postprandial Palaver
Year: 2003
Director: Ryuhei Kitamura
Stars: Takao Osawa, Masaya Kato, Kanae Uotane, Tak Sakaguchi, Hideo Sakaki
Genre: Action, HistoricalBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: A samurai (Takao Osawa) stumbles up to the doors of an isolated temple in the mountains carrying his mortally wounded comrade seeking help. A woman (Kanae Uotani) allows them entry and the samurai staggers in, then collapses on the floor. Some time later he awakes, still in the temple, and wonders what has happened. He soon meets the leader of the establishment, a mysterious man (Masaya Kato) who offers him food and a place to rest until his enemies have stopped looking for him. But there is a debt to be paid, and the samurai won't like it...

For Versus director Ryuhei Kitamura's entry into the two-film Duel project, Aragami was the result, from a script by him and Ryuichi Takatsu. This was the sister film to 2LDK, an idea its producer had when two of the directors of his anthology production finished their segments ahead of time. Both films featured a battle between two people at their heart, and this one was a more traditional Japanese sword fight, with the unnamed samurai and the mystery man, who we discover calls himself Aragami after the God of Battle, as the combatants.

Filmed in a week, the film all takes place on one set as well, but is short enough not to feel too claustrophobic. In fact, the story is a pretty weak excuse for the fighting, and that isn't non-stop by any means, but two amusing performances by the leads carry it through any dips in tension. The samurai realises that he is in a tricky situation when his host ensures he cannot leave, and when he tells him what was in the delicious meal he had been fed he understandably loses his temper.

The reason for that being that his friend, who is now dead, was also the main course. For a man hoping to take the body back for a decent burial, never mind the disgust he feels, the samurai wants to take his revenge, or he does until he finds out that this is exactly what Aragami wants him to do. Yes, Aragami - if that is his name - cannot die except by another's hand, and even then only by having his head cut off or his heart pierced, and he thinks his latest guest is the man for the job.

A side effect of eating human liver, at least the way in which Aragami's womanservant prepares it, is that now the samurai is prone to the same near-invincibility that the would-be god is. This is demontrated on him with the use of a sword, and after he recovers quickly, the stage is set for man on man action. Of the sword fighting variety, of course. It's a simple tale that strays into silliness but Osawa's "What the...?" reactions and Kato's goodnatured and bizarrely reasonable personality make it quite appealing. Only the coda that brings things up to date is a true misstep, and it's a minor work, but entertaining for all that. Music by Nobuhiko Murino.

[The Duel Project is available on Tartan's Asia Extreme Region 2 double disc DVD, along with two featurettes and a trailer.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5606 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Ryuhei Kitamura  (1969 - )

Talented, prolific Japanese director heavily influenced by 80s horror and action movies, Kitamura makes films in a hyper-kinetic style that favours visceral excitement over tight plotting and character development. His samurai/zombie/yakuza debut Versus was a big festival hit, while subsequent films like Alive, Sky High and the period swashbuckler Azumi provide similar thrills. In 2004 directed the 28th film in the Godzilla series - Godzilla: Final Wars - then the neglected Clive Barker adaptation Midnight Meat Train, with Versus 2 long promised.

 
Review Comments (0)


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

 

Last Updated: