After a group of 54 school girls commit suicide simultaneously at a train station, police start investigating their deaths and try to connect the seemingly unrelated suicides that had been plaguing Japan. With the help of a woman who identifies herself as ‘The Bat’ and set to the music of a girl band called ‘Dessert’ detectives dive head first into the evils of pop culture and the effect it has on the Asian population.
Detective Kuroda – Ryo Ishibashi
Detective Shibusawa – Masatoshi Nagase
Detective Murata – Akaji Maro
Mitsuko – Saya Hagiwara
Kiyoko (Kmori, “The Bat”) – Yoko Kamon
Genesis – Rolly
‘Most Groundbreaking Film’ – Fantasia Film Festival
Taking place between the dates of May 26th – June 2nd, each day increases the urgency for detectives to find the cause of the rash of suicides that has swept through Japan. Det. Kuroda takes the case and tries to find meaning in the carnage while finding a new appreciation for his own family. The film opens with 54 schoolgirls standing at the train station. While they seem to be waiting to board as the train approaches they all grab hands, count to three, and jump onto the tracks in unison.
This is in the first 5 minutes and trust me, your jaw drops open. Then cut scene to footage of a group of adorable little girls performing their hit song ‘Mail Me’ and all seems right in the world. This movie is not for that faint of heart or avid animal lovers.
In a particularly graphic scene, a man named Genesis performs a song for certain visitors in his ‘Pleasure Room’ and portrays one of his minions raping and murdering a anonymous woman in a white sack. That’s only after he stomps an animal to death. The scene in normal context might seen extreme, but is carried and played out in a way that we might associate more with Saturday Morning kids shows. This in fact, is part of the genius of this movie.
Warning!!! The song he sings WILL get stuck in your head! I actually have it set as the ring tone when my sister calls. Complete with blood, guts, murder, suicide, rape, bad kids, and a gnarly human sushi roll, this is one of my favorite films. It is strange and half the time you’re wondering where the hell some of the parents are, but this film offers a surreal escape from the ordinary. Effects are pretty decent and the story line can be difficult to follow if you stop paying attention. But this is a film that I recommend be in your library. Their award was well deserved.
Suicide Club, while a powerful film, is rich in it’s ability to focus in the power of youth culture. The parody of it’s music and off beat scenes are counterbalanced by the violence and extreme nature of it’s fictioned reality There is a underlying message that says something about peer pressure and the naive sense that younger generations are diving into. The film tends to veer more towards making a statement about childhood and does so in a extremely horror-driven clever way. The heart of this film obviously lies in a Japanese cultural sense, though to westerners, this idea is not clear and rather for entertainment.
Do yourself a favor and check this one out, it may not register entirely in first run, but it will certainly leave a mark.
Suicide Club (2001)