Horny House of Horror (Fasshon heru) (2010)

Fashion Hell.
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Horny House of Horror - Fashion Hell

Just when the market for crazy Japanese splatter was about to become saturated beyond the help of even the most absorbent kitchen towels, Jun Tsugita added some unique originality to the sub-genre with the highly peculiar Horny House of Horror AKA Fashion Hell (Fasshon heru). Usually Tsugita stays away from the directorial role and is involved in the writing of similarly themed movies such as Mutant Girls Squad and more recently Tomie: Unlimited. His input as director (and also writer) for Horny House of Horror provides a very different, less hectic feel and despite seeming cheaper, the story, albeit simple and out of the ordinary, seems to hang together more coherently than a lot of the bigger budget Japanese schlockers.

The focus of the film seems oddly similar to Naked Blood with in that the main focal points are three women and a strange situation, although this time the women hold the power and the men are the victims. The strange situation referred to is that the film is set in a brothel (or a "Fashion Health" parlour - a concept handily explained at the beginning) where the objective is not a happy ending unless having your manhood violently detached makes you happy. The three ladies that work at the den of iniquity, Nonoko (Asami), Nagisa (Saori Hara) and Nakatsu (Yûya Ishikawa), each have their specialities (whereas in Naked Blood the female characters each had their vices) from food fetishes to erotic dancing. Each has a preferred method of member dismemberment utilising tools such as a cock loving samurai or a pair of gnashers that would make Dawn O'Keefe close her legs with shame.

Three unsuspecting males decide to visit the new massage parlour for a final bit of kinkiness before their friend is condemned to a life of marriage, blissfully unaware of the fountains of blood that await them inside. From this point on (which is practically the beginning) the viewer is presented with a heart-warming buddy-flick as the three friends realise that they are deep in the shit (and not in the good way that you would expect at similar establishments) and must try to escape with their peckers attached. Whereas most sensible people would hit the exit so fast it would knock the whores of their minges, our soon-to-be-married hero decides to assist his friends and avenge any deaths should they happen.

Obviously, based on the above synopsis, it is apparent that the movie maintains the craziness of the recent wave of Japanese horror but manages to encroach on some of the genuine weirdness in Japanese culture and attacks these concepts with the subtleness of a bull in a satirical china shop. The movie was designed to appeal the eyes of the Westerner and the director claims that the main influence for the style of the movie was Western exploitation (specifically Motel Hell) which means much of the humour may just seem like cheap slapstick to the average Japanese eye...

The character development is shallow although there is an attempt to make the female killers seem like victims of their chosen career path, much more focus is put on the female characters making them the anti-heroes, a common theme in Tsugita's writing. The male stars have to depict either sex starved perverts or pussy-whipped wimps so it is acceptable that the actors didn't invest too much time in creating heartfelt, profound characters. Hats need to be raised for Boss Shitaragi (Demo Tanaka) for his portrayal of the manager of the establishment seeming like a very misplaced samurai.

A typical amount of blood is spilled for this sub-genre with the average penis containing more blood than a blood bank. Combine this with dopey Japanese characters and a few AV stars with pseudonyms such as Mint Suzuki and entertainment is guaranteed... but don't look for much more depth than that.
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Categories: Asian Horror Movies

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