Sunday, November 19, 2006


I recently was up in Chicago for a few days, and rented a couple of DVDs from Odd Obsession Movies, one of which was Death Powder, a 1986 film directed by Shigeru Izumiya.

Apparently the film was intended to have a plot, but I have no idea what it is. It didn't help that a good deal of the dialogue is only subtitled in Japanese, which I could only partially read without a dictionary. Nor did it help that when I was able to check the English subtitles, when they existed, against the Japanese dialogue or subtitles, the two had virtually nothing to do with each other. It's as if whoever did the subtitles was trying to invent their own (still incoherent) story. (From what I was able to gather, the real plot involves "scar people," an android named Guernica, and of course "death powder," whatever that is.) Basically what I got from the film was a series of bizarre, often incomprehensible images, some of which were striking. So if you're a fan of that, it's worth picking up.

Here's a longer, more detailed review, with screencaps. The reviewer is sharp, and noticed some things that I missed, although he accepted the English subtitles as accurate (as is natural, of course, for someone unable to check them against the Japanese).

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