Suicide Club – Jisatsu Circle – 2001
Plot: In Tokyo, when fifty-four high-school students commit a collective suicide, jumping from a platform in Shinjuku Station, the police force leaded by Detective Kuroda has no clue to follow. Then he receives an e-mail from a young woman, The Bat, advising that there is a site where red dots mean the number of persons that died. Kuroda and his team investigate the deaths going nowhere
Suicide Club aka Suicide Circle aka Jisatsu Circle is a very popular 2001 movie directed by Sion Sono. This is exactly the kind of movie i used to just love as kid, because it was so gruesome and nonsense, and so typically Japanese. As i grew up and my taste for strong storytelling developed, i am now reconsidering my opinion a bit, and i’m gonna try to briefly explain why in the next couple paragraphs.
First of, the strong points: we have the always appealing schoolgirls (in uniforms!) butchering themselves deal, you know, that sort of thing that is just eye candy for the horrorhounds.
the opening sequence is one of the most impressive in J-Horror history, with over 50 little schoolgirls cheerfully singing and holding hands as they prepare to jump under a speeding train.
then we have that fascinating, typically japanese, over the top nonsense part, where a pseudo underground terrorist j-rocker doing his best David Bowie impression – complete with high heels and sequined suits – takes lead in a scene and just starts.. to sing a song. about suicide. about how suicide is good for you and death survives everything and stuff. I mean come on.. beat that:
now, the movie even goes deeper into the social propaganda, exploring the realms of disaffected youth and existentialist wonders. what is the meaning of life? are we all linked to each other? do these bonds still exist after we die? things that work in theory, but that are not played out at best as the story unfolds. The main problem is that Suicide Club follows a pace that is remarkably slow, something that i don’t mind most of the times but in this case there’s a couple moments where the movie becomes simply boring.
I mean, at some point you’re just waiting and waiting for the next crazy gory scene to shake things up a bit. But it’s all good, because from time to time here we go with those bleeding schoolgirls again
Sono soon announced that this movie was going to be part of a trilogy, but so far we only saw one sequel: Noriko’s Dinner Table, that depicts events from before and after the happenings of Suicide Circle, and gives more insight on several plotholes of its predecessor.
Briefly, the weakest point of the flick is all the unanswered questions. But all in all this is another classic, and fits perfectly that J-Cinema revival i was just talking about.
Zombie Cupcakes out!