Fantaisa 2008: ‘X-Cross’

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Kenta Fukasaku

2007, Japan

From Kenta Fukasaku the director of the very disappointing sequel Battle Royale II, and son of the legendary filmmaker Kinji Fukasaku comes X- Cross a Japanese Sci-fi /Slasher movie that doesn’t make any sense. Unfortunately “like father like son” does not seem to apply in the case of the Fukasaku family. X Cross is seriously overrated, borrowing from the now over used Roshomon structure of story telling and even worse, it uses mobile phones to help rocket the story.

Scripted by Tetsuya Ôishi, fresh off penning both Death Note films, the plot centers on two Japanese girls who visit a remote village for a girl’s getaway. Shiyori (Nao Matsushita) is coming fresh off her break up with her long term boyfriend, while her friend Aiko (Ami Suzuki) is a taking a much deserved time off from her four boyfriends. Unlike normal woman they vacation out in the middle of nowhere seeking out the local hot springs and they of course stumble upon a cult of men who ritually amputate women’s legs. The relaxing getaway quickly turns to terror when realizing the entire village is obsessed with inbred leg fetishists.

X-Cross has it’s share of interesting and colorful characters including psychopathic witches, a female version of both Leatherface and one of Edward Scissorhands, an Igor like henchmen and Asian redneck cultists. At time the action is fast and furious and I will admit that it has one of the most intense fight sequences I’ve seen all year long involving a giant size pair of scissor and a chainsaw. It’s a film that implores you to just sit back and enjoy the ride. It’s ridiculous, crazy and although not for me, fans of extreme Japanese cult films will find themselvesfor the most part entertained. If you can get past the huge plot holes, tired gimmicks and horrible cinematography you may find yourself enjoying this film.

Daniel Moscovitz

 

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