Reasonably paced at 70 minutes. This was part of some made-for-TV or direct-to-video series of Maiku Hama stories. I think there are 12, written/directed by the likes of Alex Cox (Repo Man) and Tetsuya Nakashima (Kamikaze Girls), but this is the only one I can find…
I’ve had Aoyama’s critically-acclaimed, award-winning Eureka for years, but instead of finally watching it, I rented this. I’ll try not to judge him too harshly by it. Apparently shot or once presented on film (can see dirt on the print and reel-change marks), Facets proudly presents us a letterboxed, non-anamorphic, hard-subtitled, interlaced video with poor color. Thanks for that, Facets.
Mike travels to a retreat in the woods to retrieve a rich man’s daughter who has this weird idea that she’s free to marry whoever she wants. He gets slightly mixed up in the tree-worshipping new-ageyness of the place and intimidated by the woman in charge, but hey, it all turns out fine in the end.
I wasn’t exactly looking for a slam-bang action flick, given the slow strangeness of the last two movies in the series, but I don’t think watching Mike pad around getting in touch with his inner self is exciting enough to justify watching this. Mike is the same actor as before, Masatoshi Nagase (additionally of The Hidden Blade and Suicide Circle), and we know he can be funny, so I’m blaming the D.O.A. humor in this one on Aoyama. Kyoka Suzuki (above left) of Bullet Ballet and Zebraman plays the mysterious camp leader.