Friday, August 30, 2013

Loving the 'nightmare commotions,' turbulent, 1968 vibe of 'Kyuketsuki Gokemidoro'

Writer Chuck Stephens sums up the 1968 JAPANESE horror film "KYUKETSUKI GOKEMIDORO (GOKE, BODY SNATCHER FROM HELL)" as well as anyone:
"No matter what you've seen, you've never seen anything like Hajime Sato's 'Goke, Body Snatcher From Hell,' a movie so unfettered, so unpredictable, so overloaded with chaotic emotions, nightmare commotions, pulsating psychedelic lights, mercurial space slime, and newsreel images of blood-splattered combat forces that, were there any justice in the world, it would have long since been recognized as the greatest film of all time."
I watched this delightfully unhinged movie again today. It's becoming a favorite.
A hijacked airliner crashes in a remote area of Japan and the hijacker becomes possessed by aliens who turn him into a blood-sucking vampire.
Meanwhile, the crash survivors' in-fighting (they've run out of water, among other inconveniences) makes them more vulnerable to being killed by the vampire.
Don't worry, there's no "feel-good" happy ending with this film. It just gets darker and stranger as it goes along.
The film's creation date -- 1968 -- marked a year of assassinations, war and youth rebellions against established norms, and this film reflects that turbulent era. The viewer and the characters are equally at a loss about what will occur next.
That's one of the qualities that makes me love this movie so much.


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