Hana-Dama: The Origin
Company: Olive Films
Product: Blu-ray DVD Combo Pack
Starring: Sakuragi Rina, Nakamura Eriko, Asada Shun
My Review and Thoughts:
Olive Films has chosen a real odd ball winner to bring out on this wonderful Blu-ray, DVD combo. Fans of dark humor, Japanese Horror and also the flare of comic book mentality will take to this film. A screwy trip. If you like movies like Nobuhiko Obayashi's 1977 House, then this is for you.
This is a very interesting and odd film. Part horror, dark comedy, and drama mystery weaved all together to create this film. Your main character is Mizuki. She is a High School student that sadly is bullied and picked on. She has her goal of ultimate revenge. This film mixes the dark humor around the aspects of horror. It bleeds almost into a manga comic book setting. An imaginative tale of a possessed young girl who grows a flower out of her head, that flower from the spirit empowers her. The flower gives her the abilities to seek revenge against those who are tormenting her.
This has all the trademarks of a Japanese horror film mixed around a Dark Comedy with the tentacles of comic book humor. The acting flows with an ease as this weird, odd story unfolds. You have your bad characters and your revenge seeking-hero’s. This is actually directed by a cult film director, Sato Hisayasu. Many people in the world of film, specifically cult following style films will know this director. He was part of the 1980’s boom of what was known as “pink” film genera. The term Pink Film is a term used to describe adult content in Japanese cinema. Mistakenly this term has been used to only describe Japanese erotic porn films, which it is not meant to do. Pink Film can represent dramas, actions, thrillers and exploitation films. With violent films it can be referred to as pinky violence. Pink Film has mainly been described for softcore pornographic features, this however is a mistake in referring to only sex films, but that is what the majority of what viewers have done. Pink Films or if in America, at the time they came out, we could call them grind-house cinema, or b-movies, or late-night cinema. Before the major studios started to adventure into the Pink Films, mostly independent, lower budget companies created these films. So in reality it’s a true treat to see the director of an 80’s cult status reality, adventure again into another film that truly is a unique step into imaginative horror. You can’t help but see that Pink film mentality in Hana-Dama.
Truly nutty, weird and twisted film that leaves the viewer dumbfounded in how outrageous this film is, but that is also the beauty of the movie. It’s like Scooby-Doo on Crack. This has all the strange odd ball humor of a Dark Comedy. Equals parts horror, equal parts comic book come to life. It’s violent. It’s disturbing. It’s a one of kind, unique and twisted film that stands out as being different from just about anything out there.
Olive Films has honored this odd ball screwy film with a lovely Blu-ray/DVD combo. Wonderful product to own for all the fans of Japanese films, Japanese Horror. This actually plays out like a Pink film. A modern Pink film that explores everything that this genera was about. Violence, sex and weirdness.
The transfer to blu-ray is good. The best is the splendid audio. Vibrant sound, crisp imagery. Solid sound quality. No real flaw in this department.
Screen: 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio; COLOR
Backstage and Behind the Scenes. This has a running time of 14 minutes and 37 seconds. It basically is what it says it is. It does have some interesting footage.
Interviews with Director Sato Hisayasu and Cast. This has a running time of 20 minutes. The cast and director share their responses to questions asked.
If you like odd, weird and totally different films, then look no further than this treat of insanity. Violent and an all-around acid trip of storytelling. A wonderful Product by Olive Films. A good transfer. Excellent outlet to this one of kind feature that leaves a lasting impression, and might just warp your mind more than it already is.
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