Monday, October 17, 2011

Twilight Dinner (1998, DVD Review)

aka Moon Light Dinner
Director: Yutaka Ikejima
Cast: Yumi Yoshiyuki, Kanae Mizusawa, Kyosuke Sasaki
PiNK EIGA / NTSC Region 1 / Unrated / Letterbox / Mono / Japanese language / English, French and Spanish subtitles / 63 minutes / BUY FROM TLACULT
Disk Extras: Video Commentary by Director Yutaka Ikejima & Actress Yumi Yoshiyuki / Featurette: Mr. Pink Talks about TWILIGHT DINNER / Featurette: Confessions of a Sexy Vampire with Yumi Yoshiyuki / Featurette: Mr. Pink Goes to Hollywood / Featurette: BOOBS & BLOOD International Film Festival Q&A / Featurette: Mr. Pink Presents TWILIGHT DINNER PART 2 – BASKET CASE / Photo gallery / Cast & Crew Biographies / Trailers / Deleted Scenes

For too long now the kiddies have commandeered the vampire lore for their own safe, friendly needs. Their vamps lack bite, literally. What fucking vampire doesn’t chomp on bitches and suck their blood? And if it’s a badass vampire, he or she usually seduces the shit out of their meal before digging in! Bite, fuck, bite, fuck… skulk around in some sweet, black threads… bite, fuck, bite, fuck… change one of your victims into a vamp so that they are your slave for life… bite, fuck, etc. Really that’s all I want from my blood sucking movies. Everything in-between the biting and fucking is negotiable. Put your own spin on the story, dress it up all artistic like, make it moody or gothic or funny, I don’t care, just give us adults back our fucking genre! What? PiNK EIGA is way ahead of me? They released an erotic and shocking “pink” vampire flick from Japanese filmmaker Yutaka “Mr. Pink” Ikejima? Well fuck, let’s get to it!
Lonely Kazuhiko notices two lovely sisters –Mayako and her older sister Tsukiko– moving into his building and decides to help them with the heavy lifting. Soon he falls in love with the sweet, naive Mayako and promptly makes his movie on her when Tsukiko is away and the new couple make mad, monkey love. Once older sis finds out about the affair she moves into action to seduce Kazuhiko and steal him away from Mayako in hopes of protecting her and their dark secret. While she is fucking him, she gets a little randy and chomps on his lip, drawing blood, and this sends her into violent, orgasmic ecstasy. A little while later, Kazuhiko begins to notice odd changes in his mood and sexual appetites. He becomes more aggressive, passionate and insatiable, to the point of not caring who he fucks including other men! By the time he begins to realize that something is rotten in Denmark, the “sisters” have left town. Freaking out, Kaz head to the local bar and picks up the waitress, takes her home and ends up eating her pussy… literally.
The story is told in flashback form as Kazuhiko is being questioned by a couple of detectives about the bloody, brutal death of the barmaid after he is caught, uh, red handed. He sits in the police station looking like a dope fiend trying to quit cold turkey when in reality he is jonesing for blood. Writer Kyôko Godai, who also worked with Mr. Pink on the wonderfully sleazy The Japanese Wife Next Door and its sequel, crafted a dark, sinister story raw with emotion. Ikejima brought the dour plot to life with an eye for the artistic complete with a beautifully shocking climax that will unsettle most everyone. This is the first PiNK EIGA release that I can remember that was this bloody and graphically violent. It is kept to one scene but the events leading up to it don’t really prepare you for the visceral payoff. There is plenty of nudity and sex as you would expect from most Japanese pink films but they are not quite as gratuitous and actually work to further the plot. I was impressed all around with the three leading actors; Yumi Yoshiyuki (Tsukiko), Kanae Mizusawa (Mayako) and especially Kyosuke Sasaki (Kazuhiko).
These cheaply made adult films from Japan were never meant to be packaged and shipped off the the U.S. for mass American consumption, therefore the original film and negatives are played and played in Japanese theaters until the almost literally fall apart. So when a company like PiNK EIGA comes along and obtains the rights to them in order to release them on DVD in America, they aren’t in the best shape and unfortunately it really shows in the presentation. The DVD picture is a pretty blurry affair on par with a second generation VHS tape. To make matters worse, the disk is non-anamorphic letterbox so when you zoom in to fit your screen, it degrades even more. But –and this is a HUGE “but”– this should not stop you from picking this DVD up. It is certainly watchable and a high definition image isn’t needed for sordid, depraved trash like this, and I mean that in the highest possible regard. And the disk is slam full of very interesting featurettes, my favorite being the interview with the delightful Yumi Yoshiyuki that she closes by saying “I hope you watched me fuck in this movie and jacked off 10 times!” in cute broken english… god, I love her.

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