Newest Reviews
Halloween Kills
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Forever Purge, The
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Deadly Games
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
No Time to Die
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Power of the Dog, The
Voyage of Time: An IMAX Documentary
Suicide Squad, The
One Night in Miami...
Newest Articles
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
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
  Suicide Club
Year: 2002
Director: Sion Sono
Stars: Ryo Ishibashi, Masatoshi Nagase, Yoko Kaman, Hideo Sako, Rolly, Tamao Satô, Takashi Nomura, Mai Hosho
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: "Everyone's acting funny these days". Dessart.

54 Japanese schoolgirls await the arrival of a train in a Tokyo subway. As Hasegawa Tomoki's score breaks into a Pogues-esque jig, the girls join hands and with a resounding "A one. And a two. And a three", throw themselves into the path of the oncoming train. So begins Shion Sono's abosrbing study of disaffected Japanese youth, and the national obsession with sucide.

As an admittedly unconventional thriller, Suicide Club will delight all but the most jaded viewer: at least, for the opening hour, as the police led by Inspector Kuroda (Ishibashi) investigate a series of rapidly escalating deaths, and attempt to establish the significance of a scene-of-crime(s) sportsbag containing chains of stitched-together human flesh. Sono ups the ante further when a woman - known as 'The Bat' - informs Kuroda of a web site that appears to register deaths before they occur.

Are the suicides part of a growing youth cult, or the grisly results of outside forces who use self-anihilation as a smoke screen for murder? Perhaps it's the all-girl pop group Dessart (or Desart/Desert, depending which subtitle you go with) who are the instigators, despatching catchy tunes with lyrics which recall the old Judas Priest 'Songs From Hell' controversy. It's an intriguing mixture to be sure, though the linear plot eventually gives way to outrageous developments that lie Far East of left field. Witness the introduction of Genesis (Rolly); a glam-rock "Charlie Manson of the information age", and a series of phone calls from a pre-teen director of operations who announces, "There is no suicide club".

As the film progresses, it's clear that Sono prefers raising questions to providing answers, using a streak of black humour to punctuate the increasingly bizarre events. For the most part, this policy works extremely well, which is more than can be said for a couple of less-than special effects.

The subway carnage - awash with rivers of blood - is slightly diluted by the inclusion of a painfully inept head-crushing scene, and the kitchen knife performance works best when we move from action to reaction. Here, Sono comes over as a director who is far more comfortable with the less-is-more approach: check out the rooftop chain suicide, where glimpses of plummeting bodies, and blood splattered windows combine with sickening thuds that may well prompt your last meal to get out of Dodge.

Those who dislike having the rug pulled from under their feet (which happens on more than one occasion here) will doubtless be infuriated by threads left a-dangling, though a soon-come sequel will likely tell us whodunnit and how.

For the time being, the Region 1 DVD from TLA Releasing is the easiest and most cost-effective way to see this film. Picture quality is nice and sharp with muted colours, and the audio department doesn't disappoint with Tomoki's score getting up, close and personal; particularly when piano and violin play host to some of the more lyrical moments in the film.

Extras are confined to a photo gallery (numbering just nine stills), and there are also four TLA releasing trailers, including Suicide Club and the internationally acclaimed thriller Between Your Legs.

Aka: Jisatsu Circle
Reviewer: Steve Langton


This review has been viewed 13326 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

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
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt


Last Updated: