Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bizarro-Worthy Cinema: Goke, Bodysnatcher from Hell

Japanese horror did not begin with (to paraphrase director Adam Green) wet Japanese kids. Nor does all of Japanese fantastic cinema begin and end with men in rubber monster suits (sublime as they may be).

Case in Point: This chilling 1969 nightmare of a horror flick. It starts off with the pulpy purpose of a vintage yakuza thriller, as a gallery of jaded, cynical, and flawed characters interact on a long flight. Then one passenger--a white-suited crook in shades--hijacks the plane, and the feces hits the fan.

The plane crashes near a UFO, and the spacecraft's occupant infects one of the survivors. From then on in, Darwinism kicks in, and the horror proves to have tendrils (OK, invasive puddles of silver ooze) that extend well beyond the crash site.

Yeah, some of the histrionics may induce titters, but it's an intense fever-dream of a chiller all the way. It's packed with more nihilism than John Carpenter's The Thing, levels a pointed cry of anger at the Vietnam war, and serves up some ickily-effective (if primitive) make-up magic. I loved it so much that it made the Pop Culture Petri Dish Horrorpalooza All-Time Top 50 a couple of years back. And since it's never seen an official domestic DVD release, you ain't gonna see it on Netflix any time soon.

But maybe, just maybe, you might see it on a Bizarro Movie Night...

Meantime, enjoy the Japanese language trailer, courtesy of YouTube.

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