X-Cross (Ekusu kurosu: makyô densetsu) (2007)

Prepare for the scissoring of a lifetime.
Posted on by

X-Cross - Scissor me Timbers

Kenta Fukasaku's X-Cross, also known as XX (ekusu kurosu): makyô densetsu, has real difficulty deciding whether it is a traditional Japanese folklore based horror or a crazy tongue-in-cheek Japanese gore flick... and manages to combine the two genres superbly with a compelling story expertly implemented to boot. The movie is split into four chapters with the first being steeped deeply in ancient Japanese traditions and small village mentality with a lust for keeping the population strictly local through left leg removal. This chapter sets up the character's relationships, throws in an element of doubt about their trustworthiness and adds some outsiders into the mix. Chapter 2 changes the character relationships and throws in a vengeful psycho bitch with a cute outfit, an eye patch and a giant pair of fuck-off scissors. The final chapters bring these two distinct genres together and expose the deceitful for who they really are.

Another beautiful feature of X-Cross is the way that time lines are handled. The events are presented out of order and concurrent proceedings are shown from different points of view and tied up by certain interactions between the two leading ladies of the first two chapters. The flashbacks are tied together by rapid fire rewinds often subtly giving a taste of events to come. In fact, practically the entire movie content is given away before the opening credits but rather than providing spoilers it functions as a teaser, only enough is given away to whet the viewers appetite for more and inspire curiosity as to what the fuck is going on.

Shiyori (Nao Matsushita) retreats to the wilderness for a relaxing spa break with her recently acquired bestest friend Aiko (Ami Suzuki). The trip begins to go bizarre before they even reach the retreat as they nearly hit a freaky, female, eye-patched, scissor-obsessed road wanderer. Putting the hiccup in the journey to one side the girls prepare to enjoy some tranquillity in the village spas and forget all about deceitful boyfriends, but the village seems to be inhabited with limping misfits obsessed with the ladies legs.

Not wanting anything to spoil their trip the girls put the strangeness to one side and hit the spas but soon the villagers reveal their dark intentions, the reason for their funny walks and why they insist that visiting ladies clean maintain leg hygiene. To compound the problems the aforementioned freaky woman with the "Highway Code" dysfunction enters the stage and she has personal reasons for being there... plus she is packing the biggest pair of scissors and is ready for an estrogen fuelled fight even if she must sacrifice her Japanese eye-patch and reveal her diseased Japanese eye.

Despite half the movie following the blueprint of Japanese splatter, the splatter is quite low... but who needs blood geysers and gut piles when there is a duel between giant scissors and a chainsaw? The movie is also devoid of the supernatural and while there are numerous moments that reach beyond the outskirts of the believable the crimes and punishments dished out are all from real fictional people.

There is so much good to say about X-Cross, the acting is professional even though some of the characters seem to have been plucked straight from Monkey (Saiyuki), the sounds are fairly minimalistic but more than adequate to set the mood, with the loud bits being quite cacophonous when necessary, and the scenes are put together skilfully and originally. The story maintains a twisty-turniness throughout with coherent explanations for previous misleading occurrences making for satisfying realisations rather than random gap fillers like the pool cleaner in many films of a certain other genre.

X-Cross is stylish, sexy, super scissory, darkly comedic and an amazing fusion of two popular Japanese genres with a compelling story, some expert directorial input, some lovely characters enhanced by some nice effects and some outlandish choreography. Giant scissors are the new Jesus!
This review was posted on by
Categories: Asian Horror Movies

X-Cross (Ekusu kurosu: makyô densetsu): Movie Information

X-Cross (Ekusu kurosu: makyô densetsu): Related Images

X-Cross (Ekusu kurosu: makyô densetsu): External Links