Movie Review – Suicide Club

Boy, I love Japanese cinema, and movies like “Suicide Club” are the reason why.

This movie from 2002 revolves around a “suicide club” of kids, a strange computer website, a coughing child that calls the police with clues, a weird blond glam gang leader, and a prepubescent girl pop group whose songs are infecting listeners – all of which are loosely connected.

The movie starts off with 54 school girls jumping off a train platform in front of an oncoming train, shocking everyone and sending the police into action.  As the chief detective, played by the great Japanese actor Ryo Ishibashi, the body count escalates and the affliction infects a wide variety of people – nurses, street vendors, and house wives.  All the while, there is a website that keeps count of the suicides which certain people become transfixed on.  Somewhere along the line, a blond 70’s glam reject gang leader (complete with a crazy gang and an abandoned bowling alley hangout), tries to take responsibility for the “Suicide Club” stating the reason as social upheaval, but the real catalyst lies in the sugary sweet lyrics of a pop girl band.

The first thing that jumps at me is the shock value.  I put this on for a horror movie addict and didn’t tell him what it was.  He watched casually as the train pulled into the station in the beginning and was stopped mid sentence when the girls jumped in front of it (he borrowed it that night).  The Japanese directors have a way of grabbing one’s attention that American directors can’t begin to fathom.  Another thing is originality – the Japanese are geniuses for finding way to pattern movies from mundane things, such as the way pop music sometimes drives us crazy, as well as our habit of mindlessly following a person or a trend without questioning it’s value.

It is very bloody, and some scenes are over the top.  But other scenes, such as the one on the ledge of the school building, spotlights the habit many have of blind devotion when we should be questioning whether it is beneficial to us.

So, if you aren’t afraid of some blood and are interested in a smart “horror” movie, give “Suicide Club” a try.

Would this song make you want to jump off a building?


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