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Film Review: Higanjima: Escape from Vampire Island (2009)

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SYNOPSIS: Higanjima is an eerie island occupied by vampires, from where none has ever come back alive. When teenager Akira hears that his missing brother has been seen in the island, he decides to investigate with several friends. REVIEW: Asian vampire movies are usually a love or hate impacting experience for me. On one hand, you have to appreciate that ...

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Film Review: Lady Vengeance (2005)

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(aka Sympathy for Lady Vengeance) SYNOPSIS: The final installment of director Chan Wook Park’s revenge trilogy (preceded by Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Oldboy) chronicles the efforts of Lee Geum-ja (Yeong-ae Lee) — known to her cellmates as “the kind Ms. Geum-ja” — to track down the man who betrayed her. Taking the rap for her accomplice and incarcerated for ...

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Horror Highlights from South Korea’s 16th Jeonju International Film Festival

South Korea’s film festival season kicks off in earnest each year with the Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) in May. Though much lighter in fright fare than the country’s other major film festivals, JIFF does offer a handful of options, usually programmed during its Midnight in Cinema all-nighter triple-bill series. For the fest’s 16th year, filmgoers were treated to several nightmarish situations, including ...

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Film Review: Sadi-Scream (2007)

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SYNOPSIS: Rumi, an investigative journalist, prepares to interview a garbage collector. Her colleague has heard a rumor that the man is involved in the disposal of dead bodies for the yakuza, and persuades Rumi to conduct the interview alone, under surveillance. When the man’s suspicions are eventually aroused, he and his cohorts capture the reporters and take them to a ...

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Film Review: Happiness of the Katakuris (2001)

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SYNOPSIS: The Katakuri family has just opened their guest house in the mountains. Unfortunately their first guest commits suicide and in order to avoid trouble they decide to bury him in the backyard. Things get way more complicated when their second guest, a famous sumo wrestler, dies while having sex with his underage girlfriend and the grave behind the house ...

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Film Review: Tell Me Something (1999)

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SYNOPSIS: Detective Cho has been assigned a particularly challenging case. Mismatched body parts are showing up all over Seoul in garbage bags, with little possibility of identifying who they belong to, until dental implants offer an important clue. This eventually leads to the discovery that the victim’s next of kin, a museum curator called Suyeon Chae, is actually an acquaintance ...

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Film Review: Beautiful Girl Hunter (1979) – CAT III

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(aka Star of David: Beauty Hunting) SYNOPSIS: NA REVIEW: BEAUTIFUL GIRL HUNTER (1979) Director: Norifumi Suzuki Producer: Yoshio Murai & Yoshihiro Yuhki Writers: Masaaki Sato & Jiku Yamatoya Actors: Yuka Asagiri * Yuko Asuka * Shu Domon * Hiromi Namino * Hiroshi Nawa * Asami Ogawa * Rei Okamoto Every movie begins with the potential that you may be getting ...

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Film Review: Women’s Flesh: My Red Guts (1999)

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SYNOPSIS: After her boyfriend dumps her, a young woman goes into her bathroom and begins to masturbate with a toothbrush. Autoeroticism gradually turns into self-mutilation, and she attempts to eat one of her own fingers. She then asphyxiates herself, and the focus changes to another woman, who also begins to mutilate herself. She starts with a fork, switches to a ...

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Film Review: Hitch-Hike (2013)

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SYNOPSIS: The beautiful young Saeko and her abusive husband Yoshio are driving through the Japanese countryside. Yoshio continually makes things unpleasant for his unfortunate wife, fingering her while she’s driving and slapping her whenever his beer spills. They pick up a hitchhiker who, like Yoshio, is a fishing enthusiast. Things quickly turn sour, however, and the moment they find out ...

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