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Survive Style 5+

Imagine a child's playhouse envisioned by an art director tripping on acid and the general effect of "Survive Style 5+" becomes all too clear. Meant as a parody of Japanese horror and yakuza genres, pic revels in Day-Glo but the artificiality is all fluorescent style and no substance. Strictly for the most ADD-addled video consumers.

With:
With: Tadanobu Asano, Reika Hashimoto, Kyoko Koizumi, Hiroshi Abe, Ittoku Kishibe, Jai West, Vinnie Jones.

Imagine a child’s playhouse envisioned by an art director tripping on acid and the general effect of “Survive Style 5+” becomes all too clear. Headache-inducing patterns combined with non-stop editing and overall lack of genuine humor may work well for his TV commercials, but helmer Gen Sekiguchi doesn’t fare as well trying to sustain a two-hour feature. Meant as a parody of Japanese horror and yakuza genres, pic revels in Day-Glo but the artificiality is all fluorescent style and no substance. Strictly for the most ADD-addled video consumers.

The tenuous link between stories is Cockney existentialist hit man (Vinnie Jones), who demands to know “What’s your function in life?” He’s hired to finish off a woman (Reika Hashimoto), who keeps coming back from the grave no matter how often her husband (Tadanobu Asano) kills her. Ad woman Yoko (Kyoko Koizumi) also pays the hit man to eliminate her egomaniac hypnotist b.f. Aoyama (Hiroshi Abe), but, before he croaks, he turns father of two Kayobashi (Ittoku Kishibe) into a bird. Laughs are non-existent; even minor cult status is a dim possibility.

Survive Style 5+

Japan

Production: A Tohokushinsha Film Corp. production, in co-production with Dentsu Inc. Produced by Hiroyuki Taniguchi. Directed, edited by Gen Sekiguchi. Screenplay, Taku Tada.

Crew: Camera (color); music, James Shimoji; costume designer, Ikuko Utsunomiya. No other credits available. Reviewed at Locarno Film Festival (Filmmakers of the Present), Aug. 6, 2004. Japanese, English dialogue. Running time: 120 MIN.

With: With: Tadanobu Asano, Reika Hashimoto, Kyoko Koizumi, Hiroshi Abe, Ittoku Kishibe, Jai West, Vinnie Jones.

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