Saturday, March 8, 2008

Eat The School Girl: Osaka Telephone Club (Japan 1997)

"Dear Diary, I just killed someone today."

One part pink-cinema, one part avant-garde, and one part college film project. Eat the School Girl (コギャル喰い 大阪テレクラ篇) seems to be more out to "shock" the audience than entertain them, but oddly enough, it doesn't appear to do either.

On the busy streets of Tokyo, Japan, two young guys work for a small-time gang of thugs pushing sex fliers and tapes. One is a sex-crazy, wired-up neurotic, and the other (our main protagonist), is a solemn, lonely time-bomb of a man that is addicted to phone sex. After calling his favorite operator and enjoying some "me time", he's off to handing out fliers with a special "idol-ish" girl on it and selling some sex tapes. The two return to their bosses hangout to receive change from their sales and end up getting a peek into the seedy underworld that's making these hardcore pornos. The gang is basically kidnapping random girls off the street and film the debauchery themselves. The two are chased off to resume selling the tapes and as the day comes to an end, the two go their separate ways. Neurotic hits the streets and tries to pick up various women while the Protagonist goes home to place that certain phone call. However, when he gets home, he's greeted by a naked woman that just happens to look like the one from the flier. She boldly proclaims that she is all for him and that he may do as he wishes. He gets so worked up and frustrated that he leaves and heads back to the streets dressed as a schoolgirl and kills a man in a tunnel with a box cutter. Then we see him "climax" on the body, all while trying to regress the memories of seeing his family brutally murdered in front of him as a child. When he finally realizes what he's done, he run off into the night.

There's more that I could add that takes place in Eat The School Girl, but it all seems pretty pretentious and just seems to be trying to hard to "shock" us. For a film with a running time of only an hour, it all becomes "old hat" and just comes across as a total yawn by the end. The acting is incredibly campy and difficult to watch. The gorilla-style shooting style on the streets got annoying in the first five minutes, but the real bad guy here is the story. The story keeps this, "leave it all up the viewer to decide what's happening", way of things. Was there a girl on the other end of the phone? Is she an angel telling me I need to kill someone to climax in order to be free? This smug and vain way of story-telling is spotty and there's not enough substance to captivate and makes you want to ask the previously mentioned questions. In the end however, you simply just won't care. All is not lost however, as some people may enjoy this for the gore, the simulated rape scenes, or for the so-called "shock" factor. Maybe I've become desensitized over the years, but you'll have to excuse this horror-veteran (Japanese or other-wise), when I say that you'll simply have to do better than this. Naoyuki Tomomatsu missed the mark big time with Stacy and Eat The School Girl on all accounts. So here's hoping that Zombie Self-Defense Force turns out better than his previous work, but I doubt it. (CBKevin)

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