Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: Over Your Dead Body

5 of 5 viewers "Liked" "Over Your Dead Body" (Japan, 2014)
Here's what the creatures had to say:

Dabbles - "Cinematography (use of light) is on point in Over Your Dead Body. Two lessens to take from this film are 1. thou shalt not cheat, 2. if you find yourself in a room covered in plastic and blood, you might be in hell. I really enjoyed this. The storyline intertwining with the story within the movie is perfect. The way the director pulls us into both plots was awesome. I'm a scaredy-cat and I purely enjoyed it." - 4 Stars

Lord Battle - Takashi Miike brings us another stylized mood piece about art imitating life and vice versa. Over Your Dead Body definitely plays more like Audition than Ichi The Killer, I felt that needed clarification given Shout Factory's misleading cover. Having said that I fully support their marketing strategy as I too chose to use their image over the original poster." - 3.5 Stars

Math Mage - "A surreal exploration of depression, betrayal, theater, and how not to perform an abortion." -  3.5 Stars

Huntress - "I spent a good chunk of the beginning of Over Your Dead Body trying to figure out if I missed something, but it doesn't sound like I was alone in that. Once I got on the same page as the story (and duel story) I got very wrapped up in the characters. I wasn't sure what to expect from this film, but I was still surprised by what it ended up being." - 4 Stars

Creature of the ComiCombs - "First off, don't let the cover art fool you. The beginning was a bit confusing but once things fell into place it became quite enjoyable. This is a pretty intense movie and there are some cringe worthy scenes that got me. Overall I enjoyed this movie, while it's not Takashi Miike's best film it's definitely worth checking out." - 3.5 stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
(Below is for after you've seen the film)

Kuime or as we know it in America, "Over Your Dead Body" may be the closest Takashi Miike has gotten to recapturing the feel of Audition. Now this film heavily deals the theater and its crew, contrasting how alive and chaotic putting together a program can be, with how alive and chaotic our lives feel on a day to day basis. The story really emphasizes how on the stage actors become their characters and how in life we often barrow a lot from art, including how we act. Apply this to a soft version of Miike's maze-like storytelling and throw in some of his trademark gore and you get Kuime.
As an American, the one thing that confused me about this film was the very slight usage of the doll. Shout Factory released Over Your Dead Body in the states with the awesome cover we used for this review and as I said before, it is very misleading but with just cause. 

Original Poster for "Over Your Dead Body"

If I was walking around the horror section in Best Buy or even digging through the directors section in Amoeba and I came across the original cover in the Takashi Miike section, I'd pass. I would regret it having seen the film now but Miike has such a huge body of work that I just wouldn't risk picking up a romance... That has happened to me before, just not at Amoeba. I was in the horror section of a shop in the mall at Japan Town and I grabbed anything directed by Mr. Miike. It was completely my fault but I grabbed up this Shout Factory release before even realizing that one of my favorite auteur directors filmed it.
The doll in Kuime plays a very minimal roll as it appears, cries, and seems to be a conduit for magic (or curses). I'd love to jump into some deep theory as to why it does these things but it seems fairly obvious. The doll first shows up as a prop for the play, supernatural things start to happen with it as the doll becomes a sort of witness to Iwa's insanity. So why does the doll cry? Like in the play it represents the innocent and pure but in the play it's make believe, yet still terrible. As the worlds become more and more intertwined throughout Over Your Dead Body, the doll acts as an improptu private audience to the real horrors that are about to be committed and much like its character in the play, the doll is sympathetic. Does it belong on the box art? From a marketing point, yes. It simply is more interesting. As a artistic representation of the story, yes. As it implies a tragic theme. From a transparency stance, probably not. They've definitely pissed off a few Monster Kids with this one. Oh, and I should warn you that the dub on this release is one of the most difficult aspects of the film. 

- Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

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