Suicide Club (Suicide Circle) (2001)

Well then, goodbye everybody.
Posted on by

Suicide Club (Suicide Circle) - Well then, goodbye everybody

Not only is Suicide Club (Suicide Circle) a highly original and innovative slice of Asian cinema it also has, in my opinion, the best opening scene in any horror movie ever! There is plenty of blood and gore (most of which is in the first five minutes), the usual confusing-to-Westerners storyline and an abundance of cheesy pop music. The movie is free from ghosts and supernatural booger-monsters making this a breath of fresh air among Japanese horror movies. Like all good horror movies do, Suicide Club has caused a fair amount of controversy on the independent movie festival circuit due to the subject matter and the numerous graphic deaths of the younger generation.

The movie begins at Shinjuku Station where fifty four innocent looking schoolgirls await the next train. The next train is a non-stopper but the school children decide to get this one anyway and throw themselves on the tracks covering the platform, train and commuters with an ocean of blood and guts. What makes this scene all the more distressing is the youngster's lackadaisical attitude towards ending their own lives and the cheery look on their faces (accompanied by cheery music) as the mass suicide takes place.

Soon Tokyo becomes suicide capital of the world as more and more people take their lives for no apparent reason. Detective Kuroda (Ryo Ishibashi from Audition fame) and his team are tasked with solving the mystery of the suicide craze with the only connection being a sports bag left at numerous scenes containing rolls of stitched together human skin. Soon Kuroda is contacted by a girl-geek who only identifies herself as "The Bat" and directs the investigators to a website containing only coloured dots, the number of dots matching the number of suicides. The detectives are sure that something ominous is going on as the website updates before the suicides happen.

After a bizarre musical interlude from some fakers, The Genesis Gang, claiming to be behind the suicides and Kuroda's life being turned upside down as he loses everything he loves to the epidemic, the truth to the mass cult is uncovered as director Sion Sono makes an ironic statement about pop culture and the nations obsession with things of little importance.

Suicide Club, although dealing with a very serious subject matter manages to maintain a darkly comical undertone and a subtle yet very sarcastic look at society. The victims apathetic attitude and even excitement about suicide and the peer pressure element makes many scenes start off with a light hearted feel, middling with an almost laughable yet shocking splatfest and ending with the horrible reality of what has just transpired. Using the cheesy j-pop group Dessart (or Dessert, or Desert) and their harmlessly ominous lyrics as the suicide cult's marketing tool and the numerous websites and forums is a stab at current cultures obsession with such things and is almost a warning about how these innocuous pastimes can pose a real threat towards modern society. The fact that Dessart can be connected with encouraging mass suicides is a disturbing concept on its own.

There are many high points in Suicide Club, the opening scene with the train, the students jumping off of the top of the school and even the mother slicing of her fingers as she prepares dinner for her daughter. Apart from these obvious ones there are a lot of subtleties that may be missed with just one viewing, as is common in Japanese horror the attention to detail is remarkable although knowledge of Japanese culture and religion is beneficial in spotting these minutiae. Suicide Club is and amazing movie on a number of levels and I recommend this to anyone and everyone.
This review was posted on by
Watch "Suicide Club (Suicide Circle)" now Watch Suicide Club (Suicide Circle) Now on Amazon Instant Video

Suicide Club (Suicide Circle): Movie Information

Suicide Club (Suicide Circle): Related Images

Suicide Club (Suicide Circle): External Links