Friday, November 12, 2010

Hausu (1977)

Hausu is probably my new favorite movie. Its kind of like Evil Dead on acid. The whole movie plays out like a dream with extremely one dimensional characters. Their names alone show the depth of the character. One is named Gorgeous and shes of course the beautiful one. Then you have Fantasy who has the wild imagination. Another is Kung Fu and I'm sure you can guess her characteristics. All together there is seven of these girls and they all take a trip to spend the Summer at Gorgeous's aunts house. The house is haunted and Auntie is a sort of ghost/vampire who feeds on the blood of pretty young girls.
From what you have just read you would naturally think this is a horror a movie and technically it is but Hausu never tries to be scary. Instead it chooses to be one of the wackiest, silly horror movies of all time with the brightest uses of colors and very stylish camera work. All together it makes for one of the most visually stimulating films I have ever seen. You can't help but be reminded of the films of Alejandro Jodorowsky and Holly Mountain in particular but unlike Jodorowsky, Hausu makes no attempt to be deep or meaning full.
I was lucky enough to see this thing in the theater last Summer with some friends and my eyes were glued to the screen with jaw dropped. I don't think anybody in the audience was quite prepared for what they were seeing. It was interesting to hear people comment and voice their opinions after the screening. It almost felt as if we were Beatniks in a sort of time warp. Some of the people thought there was some sort of artistic message to the movie which there absolutely is not but others took it for what it is, a chaotic barrage of visuals packed into a fast paced 88 minute film. I over heard one conversation in the lobby, where one cat asked his friend what he thought. His buddy replied "Eye Candyyy!" I couldn't agree with him more.
Some of the off the wall madness Hausu has to offer is a girl being eaten by a piano as her dismembered limbs fly all over the place and bright red blood sprays through the air as her chopped off fingers play a tune on the piano. Then we have my personal favorite scene where a mattress comes to life and attacks a girl. Feathers fly through the air with some very Argento esque lighting while the camera records the chaos from below through what looks like a glass floor. It really just has to be seen to be believed. We also get a crazy scene where a decapitated head flies from a well and bites a girl on the ass. There is also a small bit of naked flesh thrown in here and there for extra viewing pleasure and who can argue that. Hausu is filled with weird happenings from beginning to end. Theres dancing skeletons, demonic cats, rooms fill with blood, A girl turns to glass and her face shatters, another girl gets stuck inside a clock, dismembered legs fly about and cause destruction. The list of weirdness goes on and on.
Hausu is a 70's oddity in Asian cinema and its a must see for anyone who likes strange movies.
I always loved this tagline for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Once you stop screaming, then you'll start talking about it. It could have been reused for Hausu.

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