Horny House of HorrorReviewed By Jay Seaver
Posted 08/11/11 13:50:53
SCREENED AT THE 2011 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: "Horny House of Horror" is disappointing. Now, many reading this will think "well, duh, film-critic-guy, if you go in expecting every movie to be 'Citizen Kane', even ones titled 'Horny House of Horror', you'll always be disappointed!" But ponder for a moment - what if my expectations were properly calibrated for low-budget smut? What does "disappointing" mean then?It means a steaming pile, is what it means. This one involves Nakatsu (Yuya Ishikawa) and his friends Uno (Toshi Yanagi) and Doshida (Wani Kansai) going to a cheap "fashion health" massage parlor after their last amateur-league baseball game together to give the engaged Nakatsu a proper send-off. However, it turns out that the girls at this place are more than just prostitutes - Kaori (Mint Suzuki), Nonoko (Asami), and new hire Nagisa (Saori Hara) are killers, too!
Now, bear with me for a moment, because I'm about to apply much more thought to this situation than writer/director/editor Jun Tsugita did, but... What is this place's business model? Killing the clientele on their first visit certainly doesn't get you repeat business, and the low, low prices mean that you probably aren't going to attract people with a lot of money to steal. Sure, the rent on the pit where they work is probably low, and without word-of-mouth, daily business must fluctuate wildly. Does that support three girls and a bouncer (Akira Murota)? Especially when it's revealed that this place is only one of many?
Would the movie have been appreciably better if Tsugita had spent some time addressing this? No, probably not; those watching this movie are looking for tits & ass & blood & guts, and unless a girl is making with the exposition while topless, laying that out isn't giving the people what they want. Sure, the movie still opens with an unnecessary history of "fashion health" massage parlors, maybe to explain the pun of the film's Japanese title ("Fasshon Heru"), but there are dirty cartoons in the background that are worth a bit of a titter. The point is that if I'm thinking about this while the film is going on, the sex and violence is not very good.
And it's not. The odd thing is, the execution isn't really awful - the girl's are pretty enough, and Yoshihiro Nishimura's gore effects are decent for what they are. There's no creativity to it, though - ripping a man's penis off once is shocking, but doing it again twnety minutes later isn't much of a thing, and then the threat of doing it a third time just leads to "meh, what else have you got"? Ingenuity counts in splatter (and, I imagine, in porn), but this movie takes the viewer from being titillated to jaded in record time.
Plus, it feels cheap, even for an exploitation film (compare it to the likes of Mutant Girls Squad, with which it shares several cast and crew members, and there's a clear drop-off). Just about every possible corner feels cut, and the height of this movie's cleverness is an early fart joke. It's so low-rent that the only Major League Baseball jersey they could afford to have Nakatsu wear is for Kei Igawa, which just says it all.Sure, it's arguably okay for a movie with just one thing on its mind to be slapdash or limited. It just can be boring, and that's where "Horny House of Horror" fails, by making gratuitous nudity and castrations dull.
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