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Rasen

Spiral

Japan 1998
produced by
Takashige Ichise, Shinya Kawai, Takenori Sento, Masato Hara (executive) for Basara Pictures, Magica/Toho
directed by Joji Iida
starring Koichi Sato, Miki Nakatani, Hinako Saeki, Shingo Tsumuri, Hiroyuki Sanada, Shigemitsu Ogi, Yutaka Matsushige, Ban Daisuke, Naoki Manabe, Nanako Matsushima
screenplay by Joji Iida, based on the novel by Koji Suzuki, music by La Finca

Ring

review by
Mike Haberfelner


Available on DVD !

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To understand this synopsis, please read the one for Ringu (Ring, 1998) first (also, you might not even want to bother watching Rasen if you haven't seen Ringu, as Rasen pretty much picks up where that film left off).

 

... after Ryuji (Hiroyuki Sanada) died under mysterious circumstances, his former colleague in med-school doctor Ando (Koichi Sato) is called in to do the autopsy - but not only that, also to talk to Ryuji's girlfriend Mai (Miki Nakatani) the police fails to get through to. Ando, who is suicidal & suffers from depressions because of having lost his son, sees this task as a new meaning of life, since back in school, Ryuji was a master in makiong up codes while Ando was a master in deciphering them - & a code he finds, on a sheet of paper, inside Ryuji's body, that, after being deciphered reads "DNA present". A short time later he learns of the car crash of Ryuji's ex-wife Reiko (Nanako Matsushima) & her son, & with them he finds the mysterious video, plus - in the boy's body - a tumor that actually caused his heart to fail prior to the accident, the same tumor that also caused Ryuji's heart failure. So he comes to the conclusion that the video causes the tumor's spreading (he doesn't bother to ask how & why though), & for some reason Reiko's journal - which seems to be thrown in just for fun - does the same. This is however doubtful since Ando has not caught the virus, and furthermore Sadako (Hinako Saeki) - the girl from Ringu, thrown into this plot for some reason too - appears to Mai, by now Ando's new girlfriend. Mai then seems to vanish from mother earth, to appear again a few days later to have passionate sex with Ando - & her corpse turning up immediately afterwards. For some reason it is found out she has just given birth, though nothing was previously pointing at that. She then visits Ando again & proves to be Sadako reborn. & she wants Ando to do some genetic engineering to resurrect a few dead persons, as a reward she resurrects his son too. In the end, Ryuji, Mai, Reiko & Ando's son have all come back to life, & Reiko's journal is published as a novel, spreading the virus further for whatever reason ...

 

This movie is, I'm afraid to say, a total mess: Being somewhat a continuation of Ringu, it does take some characters & plot elements of that movie that are vital to understand this one, but does leave its open questions not only unanswered but doesn't even bother to relate to them, instead throws in plot elements of its own which are increasingly stupid and confusing, to toy with them for a while then inexplicably & unexpetedly throw them out again, littering the story with more & more questionmarks. Now that in itself wouldn't be all that bad, would there have been any attempt at coherent, comprehensive storytelling. Like that though, the film is just ... stupid.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD