Two Recent Films I’ve Seen

Wow. This year there are some funny movies out there. I’m surprised.

The Glamorous Life of Shachiko Hanai is the one of the latest of Pink films from Japan (their version of soft-core porn) with a wild premise. Hanai’s a call girl who accidentally takes a bullet in the head from spy out to receive information about a device that could cause a world apocalypse. Somehow, that bullet makes her a supergenius gorging on library books and getting turned on by the thought of philosophy, thermo-dynamics and other heady topics. She also steals the clone of a finger from George W. Bush(?!), the triggering mechanism for the nuclear explosive device. It’s good to see a sexploitation picture that actually has some brains to it, although I wish some of the final 30 minutes were paced just a little faster. The potential for the end of the world should generate more tension than is presented in this movie. Still a pretty wild movie for those who want some smarts with their sex.

Now if you want some smart comedy with your gore, one movie you can try is Black Sheep,  a very clever new horror-comedy from New Zealand by filmmaker Jonathan King. It tells the story of a sheep-phobic son of a sheepherder who returns to the old family farm to convince his conniving older brother not to sell off the property to a large corporate agricultural firm. Part of the older brother’s scheme is to perform genetic experiments on the cute woolly creatures which, of course, leads to them becoming vicious monsters craving human flesh. Lots of gags you would expect here: sheep tearing at human flesh (King seems to have a thing for viscera pulling), an evil villain whose experiments backfire, tree-hugger enviromentalists spouting hippie anachranisms. However, what works here is the idea of reversing the timidity of sheep but keeping the herding instinct so that, for instance,  the scene of sheep stampeding over a large hill and threatening an investors’ meeting provides both tension and great laughs. I just wish King would have taken this great absurd idea and kicked it up a notch, perhaps like the Shaun of the Dead movies or even perhaps the Zucker movies (Airplane!) or classic Mel Brooks (Blazing Saddles). Regardless, this is definitely a good one for the stoners or those sober for that matter.

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