Suicide Club

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!

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12 Responses to “Suicide Club”

  1. this film has amazing scenes but really gets boring sometimes…

  2. i agree with you. that’s what i said in the review actually!

  3. I have to agree. The visuals are good (even briliant with the mass suicide at the begining). But the story (when you can call it that) is not the strong point.

    I had problems taking the film seriously. Ok, i was a lil drunk while watching it, but most of the time i could not make sense of what was happening.

    To me, this movie is like a car crash. You are not sure why, but you cant stop watching.

  4. I agree with kabuki.. a car crash, you can’t stop watching..

    btw not so bad, love some scene!

  5. Sounds interesting. I feel like I already have this one in my collection but it may be something else. Man, I feel like I having been going through my collection of Asian flicks enough lately. I might have to show them some love over at my blog.

  6. Sure I already posted a comment here but I had to come back and let you know that I’m giving you a Kreativ Blogger award.

    http://hagiblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/kreativ-blogger-awards/

    I’ve been reading here for quite awhile now and love what you’ve got going. All the more reason to send this award your way!

  7. I agree with you all the line, but the scene of the phonecall between the kids and Kuroda is beautiful, and in a different way using the children song in the middle of the movie during the suicide sequences.
    Katarsis and alienation.

  8. You asked for Valentine’s suggestions on your twitter, I would go with “Dolls” !

  9. @hagi oh my gosh i’m reading this comment just now! thank you thank you!

  10. hah! the film encouraging people to suicide hmpmh… i can’t blame them because they are they i can’t change them that’s why for me that film is bad influence to the teenagers we must not appreciate it! many kids or teenager do that they may play it and do it in their homes/playground if no one around then they do it the film is not appreciating it is caused me anger that’s why many teens suicide!!!!!!!!!! :-(

    please respect my opinion is just my opinion but if you appreciate that film its fine to me but please don’t throw bad message to me or in other people too please for the others try to be respectful in other opinion if you are not agree even though sometimes only PLEASE………

  11. Bazzarza Says:

    Amazing blog! Just found you through IG and am loving this! If you want some good story telling try watching Oldboy! I know it’s been around for a while and I am sure you have probably seen it but it is easily in my top ten of favourite movies ever and it will firmly stay there! I cannot express how amazing and jaw dropping it is!

  12. Bazzarza Says:

    Scratch that last comment as I have just seen you devoted an entire blog to Park Chan-wook! He is brilliant and I can quite agree Oldboy probably sits at No.1 for me too!

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