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Ringu 0: Basudei

Ring 0

Japan 2000
produced by
Takashige Ichise, Masato Hara for Asmik Ace, Kadokawa Shoten, Toho
directed by Norio Tsuruta
starring Yukie Nakama, Seiichi Tanabe, Kumiko Aso, Yoshiko Tanaka, Ryuji Mizukami, Takeshi Wakamatsu, Kaoru Okunuki, Daisuke Ban, Tsukasa Kimura, Junko Takahata, Masako, Yasuji Kimura, Masami Hashimoto, Kazue Tsunogae, Chinami Furuya, Go Shimada, Yoshiyuki Morishita, Yukimi Koyanagi, Shuichiro UIdemitsu, Yoji Tanaka, Masato Oba
screenplay by Hiroshi Takahashi, based on the story by Koji Suzuki, music by Shinichiro Ogata

Ring

review by
Mike Haberfelner


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Sadako (Yukie Nakama) had a tough childhood: Her mother (Masako), a famous psychic, was accused of fraud at a press conference and killed herself, but as a result, all the journalists present at the press conference died as well. Later, All girls in Sadako's swimming class died - which soon earned Sadako the reputation of being creepy and made her an outcast.

Now though, Sadako is in her early twenties and studies to be an actor, and things are looking up. But nosey reporter Miyaji (Yoshiko Tanaka) is already on her trail, for personal reasons as she claims (it is never really explained why), and soon tragedy starts all over again: Aiko (Kaoru Okonuki), the leading lady of the play Sadako's drama troupe is rehearsing, dies under mysterious circumstances, and when Sadako is offered the lead role instead, everybody thinks Sadako had something to do with Aiko's death. Then the play's director Shigemori (Takeshi Wakamatsu) first tries to get in her panties, then beats her - which causes Toyama (Seiichi Tanabe), Sadako's boyfriend, to intervene and accidently kill Shigemori, which forces him and Sadako to hide the body. And then Etsuko (Kumiko Aso), the troupe's dressmaker who's secretly in love with Toyama, conspires with Miyaji, and at the premiere of the play, instead of some background music, Etsuko makes sure that a tape of Sadko's mother's press conference is played - which causes Sadako to almost lose it, and when her fellow actors think she is setting free her supernatural powers, they beat her to death, with only Toyama trying to stop the lynching.

However, Miyaji has since found out there are not one but two sadako's, and the other might be well hidden away at  her father Ikuma's (Daisuke Ban) place, so the Miyaji and her lynchmob of actors go there to kill the other Sadako as well - thing is, the other Sadako is the evil one, and she soon enough kills teh whole lynchmob one by one. Meanwhile though, good Sadako comes back to life, lures Toyama to his death ... but finally is hit over the head by her own father and thrown into the well she will spend the rest of her days ...

Confused ?

 

The first Ringu is a deserved classic of Japanese horror cinema, Ringu 2 is a rather unnecessary sequel that had its fine (and creepy) moments, this film here on the other hand is just unnecessary, it does not contribute anything new to the Ringu-mythology, instead it comes across exactly as what it is - a rather klutzy attempt to milk a cash cow. That said, the film doesn't start out at all bad, rather like a moody story about an Ugly Duckling-kind of girl with supernatural powers strongly reminiscent of Stephen King's/Brian De Palma's Carrie, then though the film makes an effort to explain everything away - and this is where teh film starts to miserably fail, as every explanation the film offers is sillier than the last (with the two Sadakos being pretty much the worst and most confusing idea of the film). A pity, because this film could have worked as an old-fashioned but moody shocker without any ties to the Ringu-cycle of films, but as it is, the film is pretty much shit ...

 

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Tales to Chill
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
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... 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