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Live Action: The Doll Master and Koma!
Monday, August 29, 2005
Sorry for the lack of updates for a while, a severe lack of anime watching recently!
Anyway here's a few summaries and thoughts on two live action films I took in recently, "The Doll Master" and "Koma"


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The Doll Master is a Korean horror which will explain why I can't actually remember the names of any of the cast :x. But its certainly an entertaining if predictable little horror movie. A group of young models are invited to spend the weekend at the mansion of an eccentric doll-maker. She has expressed an interest in making dolls of them all. The cast are a fairly normal bunch apart from a rather strange a brooding young woman who talks to her doll "Damien", and the doll maker herself and her brother who host the event. The Doll makers mansion is suitably creepy with little dolls everywhere as well as big Sadako lookalike dolls holding mirrors and even on the back of toilet seats. Things become creepy as the heroine (and lead character) talks to a strange little girl in red in the garden of the house, the girl insisting she knows her when the heroine has no memory of her. The girl runs off evidently distressed.
The cast from that point on are bumped off in the traditional horror flick way, one is strung up from the lights in her bedroom, another has her throat cut on the toilet and so on and so forth. It turns out there's a curse on the Doll Maker and the house, and she seeks revenge on descendants of a certain individual. I won't spoil the end for you, but there's a rather original revelation about the girl in the red dress, and an epically bloody battle in the halls of the house. Certainly very gory, but a fun if predictable horror fest. This combined with the anime Rozen Maiden show you really shouldn't mess with dolls, as they tend to get annoyed.
8/10


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Koma is a tale of romance, hatred, and freelance organ theft set in Hong-Kong. Ching has renal failure (a kidney problem) and as a result can't have sex with her boyfriend, she can't control her bladder and often throws up everywhere. Because of this she has a serious self loathing of herself, unable to see herself as attractive. To make matters worse she finds a woman with her kidney removed bleeding to death in her hotel room at a wedding reception. Ching accuses this strange woman of the crime who she has never met before, but the case is thrown out as the woman claims she is sleeping with Ching's boyfriend, and its revenge motivated.
That moment is actually the first Ching has heard of the affair, and things get creepier as the woman keeps phoning Ching threatening to remove her kidney. Ching forgives her boyfriend, as he is all she has, but the other woman seems to be following her everywhere. One night a man drugs Ching at a nightclub and takes her to a warehouse. He is going to remove her liver, although Ching tells him its useless, it appears the man is an organ trafficker. The other woman however suddenly turns up, drives the man away and apologizes to Ching for scaring her so much.
After that the pair become good friends, doing everything together, Ching becoming close to her rather unusual friend than she has done to anyone before. Bizarrely the other woman keeps sleeping with Ching's boyfriend, but Ching is so dependent on them both that she totally ignores it. Things take a turn fro the worst though when the guy who kidnapped Ching contacts her trying to sell a freshly removed kidney to cure Ching's renal failure. She accepts and brings her friend with her to the meeting point... things get pretty bloody and twisted from there on in.
Without spoiling the plethora of twists heading up to the ending, I'll say the last 20 minutes make this one of the most touchingly romantic while at the same time utterly twisted films I have seen. Mixed in with all the carnage that follows, is some expert storytelling and a conclusion that really leaves you feeling sad, yet satisfied.
9/10
posted by Mangaminx On Monday, August 29, 2005  
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