Opens with reclusive white bearded artist Yuki Aoyama making Hellraiser-inspired artworks which will pop up throughout the movie. Then we’ve gotta introduce our mismatched couple: two next-door neighbors named Raita. R. Kazama (Kazuya Nakayama, Izo himself) is a detective who, despite some slapstick scenes and his retro wardrobe, is no Maiku Hama. R. Takashima (Kuroudo Maki of Kitano’s Brother) is an upright office worker who doesn’t really want to know his imposing neighbor. Tak is the straight man who gets pulled into an investigation, contributing his mad hacker skills and acting as a center for the film (I don’t know why the more fun detective Kaz couldn’t have been our center). Tak never unpacks after moving in – I can’t figure if he’s joking when he tells Kaz that he won’t stay long since moving is his hobby.
Our detective’s employees are young dude Masakuni (who turns out to be the bad guy; spoiler alert) and Girl Whose Name I Didn’t Catch (played by Harumi Inoue of Miike’s Graveyard of Honor and star of Freeze Me). The mystery involves girls showing up horribly killed with some new agey earth-wind-fire metaphor business, each missing a different internal organ. The one thing they’ve all got in common: they insulted famous artist Aoyama in front of detective Masakuni, who is not only the artist’s secret son but has killed the artist and taken his place using blood and organs mixed with his paint.
Before all that comes to light, we have to sidetrack into a giant Silence of the Lambs ripoff, with detective Kaz visiting a horribly burned isolation-cell prisoner whom he once locked up, asking the prisoner for psychological advice.
Miike tries to keep it fun – jump-cuts all over, two (two!) peeing jokes and a hilarious final line (“My fingers grew back!”) and Koji Endo contributes nice saxy music. Supposedly everyone knew this would be a bad, throwaway Miike movie because it was produced by the guy behind the reputably poor Silver and Family… but he also wrote Big Bang Love so how bad could the guy be? This seemed about on par with One Missed Call – throwaway, yes, but not outright bad… a fun genre flick with no higher calling.