"Does Raw Fish Make You Schizo?"
By John Saleeby
"They're Japanese - You just know they're up to SOMETHING!"
Looking back on all the articles I've written for Acid Logic over the years I'm surprised at how many of them are about The Movies. Another surprise - I've been writing for Wil Forbis' cockamamie web zine for FIVE YEARS! Whenever I meet Forbis it will be like the end of "Die Hard" when Bruce Willis finally meets the cop he's been talking to on the walkie talkie all through the movie. Forbis isn't a chubby little black guy like the cop in "Die Hard" but The National Enquirer said that guy is gay in real life so it all works out. I wrote that joke while pulling shards of glass out of my feet. Oh, it's okay - "Mimic" with Mira Sorvino was on and I needed the broken glass to rip the eyeballs out of my head. So, after all the movie references in that routine there's no denying that I'm as Movie Muddled as every other idiot around here. I'm the kind of damn fool who hangs around the video place saying things like "You ever notice how Clint Eastwood movies always end with the camera up in a helicopter while Eastwood's standing there thinking 'Well, everybody's dead and the camera's flying back to the studio - Guess it's time to go home and throw Sandra Locke out of the house.'?" until the manager tells me to just pick a movie and get the hell outta there.
But I digress - I'd undress but there's no one here to make it worth the trouble of unzipping the back of my Gorilla Suit (On Halloween it's a KING KONG suit!). I've recently rented three recent Japanese movies - "Battle Royale", "Suicide Club", and "Stacy" - and, Brother, I don't want to say anything offensive about the Japanese but if your Mama won't do it your Sister will! There are a lot of very good reasons to rent Japanese movies. Not that I have any particular interest in foreign cultures - I just can't take the risk of having to look at Michael J. Fox anymore. Say what you will about the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, but at least you were never obliged to be polite while people talked about "cute" and "funny" it was.
One thing all three of these movies have in common is that there are boatloads of schoolgirls in em - The Japanese are apeshit for schoolgirls! We're jailbait happy here in the USA but, compared to all the slobbering going on in Japan we're as moderate and restrained as Norway where the government trains the fish to do all the breeding while people balance their check books. You're familiar with the Japanese schoolgirl archetype - Me, I find it about as sexy as the female singers on CMT (I'm not really into Oriental chicks, I made out with one a few years ago but the story rights to that have already been sold to Vivid Video - Sorry!), but all of the girls in these three movies are so cute that at times I had to hit the "Pause" button to wander around the neighborhood weeping and rubbing gravel into my hair. The main girl in "Stacy" - I can't write about her, just thinking about her causes me such pain in my heart I'd like to tear it out of my chest and die while she uses it as a douchebag. Are teenage girls in Japan really as nice as these movies make them out to be? Cause, if they are, I'm gonna get a mail order bride (I know a guy who ordered a bride by mail and got a bi male bride! HA HA HA!! Hey, that would be a good idea for a bumper sticker! (ED- Folks, trust, me, you're going to have to hit that link for that joke to make any sense.)).
But it's what happens to the schoolgirls in these movies that has me pining for the kinder, gentler days of Godzilla and Ghidra, The Three Headed Monster. In "Battle Royale" a bunch of Japanese school kids are put on an island and forced to fight to the death, in "Suicide Club" schoolgirls all over Japan start killing themselves, and in "Stacy" all the schoolgirls in Japan start dropping dead and coming back as zombies. Somebody send John Hughes over there to make a few zany teen comedies for these poor people awready! I don't know what's going on over there in Japan but if all those little schoolgirls are inspiring film makers to come up with ideas like that we should bring those Japanese guys over here to the USA. A few weeks with the horrible teenagers we've got rampaging around here and those guys will commit Hari Kari and then come back as zombies. Which would be cool, cause then they could go to Hollywood and become producers. I bet these movies were written and directed by a bunch of frustrated jack offs in their early forties just like me - If they didn't have the contacts to get these movies made they would have been forced to resort to picking up schoolgirls and raping and killing them and throwing them in the woods. No, I mean . . . I mean they would have been forced to resort to writing articles for net humor zines. Yeah, that's it. Ahem.
"Battle Royale" - Mon Dieu! This thing gets you by the gesticles and doesn't let go until you're auditioning to play the title role in "The Geddy Lee Story". But . . . But . . . An entire class is on a bus trip, knocked out by gas, and when they wake up they're on an island where they have to wipe each other out? Shit, in America half of the kids woulda gotten killed on the bus before we could use the knock out gas on em! But these kids are given weapons and license to hunt each other down like animals and their spirits are lower than the ratings for "The John McEnroe Show". These kids are so sensitive! They kill another kid and it's like they got drunk and crashed their Mom's new car or something - Lighten up, queers!
They ain't exactly Natural Born Killers - One kid is running around with an axe until he falls down and somehow manages to get it stuck in his head. And he's so polite he doesn't want anybody to get upset. "I'm okay! I'm allright! I ain't gonna face no defeat!" he says and then he dies. In an American movie that would be hysterically funny - Unless it was directed by Ivan Reitman, of course. But in "Battle Royale" it is genuinely . . . upsetting. What the hell kind of movie is this that people are getting killed left and right and we aren't cheering and yelling like a barrel of monkeys at a Kid Rock concert? And then I realised . . . (Voiceover by Daniel Stern) . . . that this is a movie produced by people who are very, very different from those of us in the United States - People who grew up in a caring, nuturing society where love and . . . And then I realised . . . (Voiceover by Howard Stern) . . . that if I watched just one more Jap movie I was gonna turn into some kinda shaved head Hare Krishna candy ass listening to folk music, driving fifty five miles per hour, and knowing the difference between Guinness Stout and Gwyneth Paltrow. Somebody put on a "Caddyshack" DVD - STAT!
"Suicide Club" really points out the difference between Japanese and American teens. A nationwide outbreak of teen suicide? We've had one of those going on nonstop here in the United States ever since the early sixties and we're Fuckin' A Skippy! The opening scene has fifty schoolgirls diving off a subway platform into the path of an oncoming train - WOW! But if fifty American teenage girls were to throw themselves in front of a New York subway train there would be so much blubber, fat, goop, and gunk we'd have to dig half a week before we could unearth the goddam train. Then a bunch of Japanese kids jump off of the top of their school building. If you put a bunch of American kids on the top of their school building the entire structure would collapse under the weight of their gargantuan obese pregnant butts. Oh, wait - Back in the sixties there actually was an American movie about teenage mass suicide - "Woodstock".
Hey! You don't have a Japanese schoolgirl fetish, how about nurses? "Suicide Club" doesn't just have schoolgirls jumping in front of subway trains, it also has nurses leaping out of windows! Hot Japanese chicks in schoolgirl outfits throwing themselves in front of subway trains, hot Japanese chicks in nurses outfits leaping out of windows - This movie has everything but hot Japanese chicks in French Maid outfits dating Tom Sizemore.
"Stacy" is so good I'd say it's the best non George Romero zombie movie EVER! Even better than all those Italian zombie movies? Every Italian movie is a zombie movie, if you ask me. Not really, I only said that because I think Italians are so funny when they get pissed off. Damn right you amuse me, what are you gonna do about it? (I'm so brave when I'm on paper!) What about "Shaun Of The Dead"? Haven't seen it yet. I haven't even seen the episode of "That Seventies Show" where Fez does Eric's sister yet. Hey, if I wanted to watch dead British people I'd . . . Oh, you know - Some silly joke about the Rolling Stones, why do I have to do all the work around here?
Zombies are always a lot of fun, so what could be more entertaining than a movie in which all of the teenage girls in the world begin dropping dead and coming back to life as the human flesh eating living dead? Whoa! Don't freak out on me, buddy! I mean a JAPANESE movie about teenage girl zombies, an American movie about obese tattooed pierced single parent teenage girls on crack rising up from the tomb would be so horrifying even George Romero would blow his brains out if he were to ever twist em out of shape by imagining such a thing. If America's teenage girls were to begin dying and coming back as zombies . . . Hell, we stopped giving a crap what those pigs did years ago, at least if they were zombies we could stop worrying about the stupid bitches and just kill em.
And yet, after all the blood, after all the guts, and after all the chopping girls to pieces with chainsaws, "Stacy" will reduce you to the same blubbering mass as drinking twenty seven beers and then looking at home movies of you playing with your Grandma when you were six and a half years old while listening to Paul McCartney sing "The Long And Winding Road". What is with these Japanese people? It's like they've got . . . SOULS or something, I dunno. Dig it - Three movies, each one full of teenagers, and NOT ONE FART JOKE! And I know for a fact that Japanese people fart because I have eaten their food. Don't get me started on what I know about Mexicans.
What I find so threatening in these films is a respect for the value of human life totally alien from anything in American culture. I'd say these movies were a threat to The American Way Of Life but, "Way Of Life"? That sounds suspiciously Japanese, if you ask me. When did Americans start talking like that? Is that some weird Martial Arts thing? We gotta come up with an alternative to that to that like The American Way Of Kicking Butt or . . . I dunno, get one of the rapper guys to come up with something. But "Human Life"? That's all nice and sweet, I guess . . . But I don't like it! Show me a man who wouldn't kill me and I'll show you a man who hasn't figured out that I'm the one who fucked his lunch. You DO know that somebody fucked your lunch, right? That's why the Japanese eat sushi - It's too small to fuck. I guess we should fuck the fish before they slice it up. But I vowed to never fuck anything with a face. Damn!
I suspect all this has something to do with Religon or, as people who are going to go to Hell after they die like to call it. "Spirituality". What religon they got in Japan? Scientology, right? Hey, Tom Cruise - Give me a call and explain these movies to me! But first, explain "Eyes Wide Shut" and that first "Mission Impossible" movie. And "Vanilla Sky" and that other one where frogs fell out of the sky. And why the hell you let Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidmon get away. And . . . And . . . Maybe I better talk to Travolta.
Maybe I'll go to Japan sometime. Did you know they have a special guided tour in Tokyo to all the places Bill Murray went in "Lost In Translation"? Screw that, I want to go to all the places Jerry Lewis went in "The Geisha Boy". The only place I want to go where Bill Murray's been is that summer camp in "Meatballs" - Remember the Seventies B Movie bimbos in that movie? Sure would like to see them in schoolgirl or nurse outfits. With guns. That would be hot. I guarentee, once they invent Time Travel everybody's gonna go to the Seventies - Forget Japan!
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