Suicide Club (Movie Review)
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Suicide Club is an over-the-top mix of horror, satire, and sequences where the the producers are going just for the gross out. Jisatsu Sakuru, as the film is known in Japan, where it was made, translates to “Suicide Circle;” these supposed death cults spring up all over the city after, at the beginning of the film, fifty-four hand-holding and singing schoolgirls leap to their deaths in front of a moving subway train.
From here the movie becomes a detective story as Detective Kuroda (Ryo Ishibashi) struggles to make some sense of the suicides. Beginning with a roll of squares of human flesh sewn together, found in a handbag on a platform washed in blood, Kuroda and his fellow officers work on solving the mystery of the suicides; This leads to great sorrow in the Kuroda household, as those tracking the deaths online also deal with a sadistic singing red herring character known only as Genesis.
At that I must comment on the music of this film: Be ready for an odd soundtrack. From the sweeping opening theme, which seems terribly unfitting, to the pop group “Dessert” (or “Desert,” as the spelling is changed several times) that supposedly has a connection in the suicide pacts, Suicide Club has a score to accompany it that you will probably make you laugh. A midfilm music video is included, starring a character named Genesis, and could be compared to what would happen if Dahmer had a musical background and an MTV show.
Another aspect of the film that stands out to every viewer is the amount of gore. From the opening scene on moviegoers are inundated with various forms of blood-spattering violence, including the aforementioned subway suicides, jumps from buildings, and not-so-accidental disfiguring involving a chopping knife.
The most important aspect of Suicide Club is the social commentary on the disconnection felt by many Japanese: With their families, their fellow Japanese, and even with theirselves. It was probably for this reason that Jisatsu Sakuru won the Most Groundbreaking Film award at the 2003 Fant-Asia Film Festival. Perhaps in this sense of disconnection the sweeping, epic music at the beginning of the film actually fits.
Overall, while Suicide Club is an interesting and memorable film that may make more than a few viewers lose their lunch, it ultimately fails to strongly make its point. This is due to various interruptions in the film that seem quite unfitting, such as the music video mentioned above and the film depending more on over-the-top gore than a deep, mysterious storyline. It’s worth at least one watch, maybe two if you miss the story – Just make sure you rent.