You wait ages for a movie about deranged plastic surgeons, then two come along at once. After last week's Cinderella, this one is Japanese: Doctor Yuji Kotorida (Kato), who likes to sink his teeth into his work, in the most literal sense. This starts off with a little deep-fried liposuction fat (a palpable flinch from the notoriously hard-core Chris); when he stumbles across a freshly-hung corpse, he soon graduates to the hard stuff. He finds it rejuvenating, and his career takes off, with everyone he touches becoming a star; fame, fortune, women and TV crews flock to his door...as does a detective, who may know more about Kotorida's secret than he lets on. Though, to be honest, posting a web diary is probably not a wise move by the doctor: what is this, MyCannibalSpace?
The film does a good job of putting over cannibalism's appeal; it's a topic which has fascinated Japan since the infamous case of Issei Sagawa. Most genre entries on the topic create a feeling of nausea, but this left us feeling...well, hungry. It's at its most interesting early on, depicting Kotorida's slide into eating human flesh, perhaps most memorably the "snuff restaurant" he visits in Hong Kong. [a slight tinge of racism there, with the implication this could only happen abroad, where life is cheap.] Once his tendencies are established, however, the script doesn't quite know what to do with itself and meanders, a bit aimlessly, until the police start to close in; some of the FX are also painfully fake. Fans of Showtime series Dexter will still get a kick out of this, and horror fans should too. Though viewers may want a sandwich to hand.
[The film is released in the US on April 24th, in widescreen and in both English and Japanese language. For more information, visit MTI's website.]