Ningyo densetsu

1984 [JAPANESE]

Crime / Drama / Horror

0
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 95

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
June 26, 2020 at 02:35 AM

Cast

720p.BLU
1006.47 MB
988*720
Japanese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 49 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by mbs 7 / 10

If Brain DePalma made "Lady Vengeance" in the mid 80's it would look like this movie

Engaging revenge style film starts out like a good old fashioned noir film and builds in intensity as it goes on until it gets to the point where it starts to resemble Chan Woo Park's "Lady Vengeance" more then anything else. Quite suspenseful film deserves to be much better known in the US today, especially since wild changes in tone and cartoonish spurts of blood are much more widely embraced in American movies today. (in fact the wild climax of the movie reminded me of the crazy 88's sequence in the first Kill Bill film except done rather seriously but i'll get to that later) The film very much reminds me of something Brian DePalma would have made in that its a very well made suspense tale with a crazy climax, a beautiful score, and nods to other kinds of films from the past--it wouldn't be out of line to suggest that if you were a fan of something like Body Double or Dressed To Kill you would prob go for this one in a big way. (both great movies,both a lot of fun, both also with insane endings) It also reminds me of a Brian DePalma film in that as wildly entertaining as the endings to his films can be, they sometimes feel as if they're coming at the expense of their carefully built plot lines, but that's OK too i guess since they really just serve to draw you into the story and then shock you very nicely in the end.

Film stars out with 2 friends drunkenly lamenting the fact that this big cooperation wants to buy out the land that they make their living fishing on to turn it into yet another resort (or so they think, the bad guys actually have designs on turning said land into a nuclear power plant!) When one ends up witnessing the murder of the other, he ends up dragging his wife who is a deep sea diver into this conspiracy--the dead body of his friend is nowhere to be found and he wants her to dive in and find his body. While she's underwater, he ends up harpooned and she narrowly escapes being killed herself---i'm not giving any spoilers away, this all happens in the space of the film's first twenty or so minutes. The rest of the film is the wife's attempt to seek the killers, exert her revenge, and try to force the truth of the bad guys' conspiracy to light which is of course easier said then done.

This film is nice and suspenseful and is actually very old fashioned--this could have been the plot to a 50's noir that somehow ended up starring Esther Williams were she interested in wanting to do a film noir and not a big Technicolor musical. This is what i was thinking at least up until the first surprisingly violent interaction between the wife who is now posing as a prostitute and the first of the many henchmen to the bad guys she ends up meeting and um dispatching. That interaction at first is really jarring--because aside from the killing of her husband and his friend, the film hasn't been violent at all, so this extended sequence of her stabbing this henchman--at first to escape being identified--comes as a really shocking moment, and then the scene goes on with her repeatedly stabbing at him and all this blood soon spurting out of the henchman, and soon there's so much of it that the sequence would not be out of place in a Tarentino film. The movie which up until that point hadn't been even remotely funny even starts to develop a kind of sick sense of humor, the more this kind of thing takes place, the funnier it actually becomes which only goes to show you how well this film could have gone over in America were it to have been made in recent years rather then in the mostly conservative 80's. This all leads to an either brilliant or insane--or insanely brilliant last 15 or so minute sequence where the heroine--now fully deranged from her revenge quest just goes bonkers and decides to just stop playing games and start killing everyone she comes across from this now cartoonishly evil cooperation. Literally she takes a harpoon and just starts stabbing everyone she comes across. Its a great sequence--alive with so much energy that i rather wish the film was far better known if only so someone could post this sequence on you-tube and i could actually show it to other people! As entertaining as this sequence is tho it also shows you how far the film has gone from being a rather believable suspense film to an almost cartoonish violent kind of film--and while the whole sequence is well built up to, it does kind of go against the whole believable atmosphere that the film has been building up to so far. Still the old motto about those who end up seeking revenge is very apt here, and is also very entertaining if you don't mind the overall shift from straight suspense drama to over the top revenge style type of movie. Also any movie that can prompt a discussion after-wards about whether a harpoon could take out that many people at once is definitely one worth watching.

Reviewed by jmaruyama 5 / 10

Over-the-top climax is gratuitous but some may find story interesting...

Ikeda Toshiharu's "Ningyo Densetsu" (Mermaid Legend) is an over-the-top female revenge film whose gratuitous violence may please "70s Pinky Violence" fans but which is ultimately a convoluted and contrived mess. The "deus ex machina" climax is totally ridiculous and is really a stretch even by movie standards.

Ikeda is probably most familiar to movie fans as the director behind two Japanese cult films, the very bleak and gory horror masterpiece "Shiryô No Wana AKA Evil Dead Trap" and the visually stylish but hopelessly sadistic, "Tenshi no Harawata: Akai Inga AKA Angel Guts: Red Porno". "Ningyo Densetsu" was produced between these two extremes but has elements of both in it. It is a film that has outrageous elements of violence and mayhem and yet is eerily erotic and visually mesmerizing.

The film revolves around young couple Keisuke and Migiwa Saeki who fish for abalone in a small coastal hamlet in Southern Japan. Shirato Mari portrays Migiwa, the shellfish diver or "Ama" who is married to the straight laced and stubborn Keisuke (Eto Jun) who runs a small family fishing boat. They are the last holdouts to a piece of coastal property that is being marked for a major development and amusement/aquarium park project by greedy industrialist Miyamoto Terumasa (Aoki Yoshio). Miyamoto's henchmen try to force Keisuke to sign over the land but when he refuses, Miyamoto's henchmen take more deadlier tactics which result in Keisuke's brutal death. Grief stricken, Migiwa confides in her childhood friend and professional photographer Shouhei (Shimizu Kentarô) but the playboy (who also happens to be the son of Miyamoto) takes advantage of Migiwa's vulnerable state to seduce her. Migiwa's psychology shattered, she soon sets out to extract revenge against Miyamoto and his henchmen. The path of revenge leads to an all-out, bloody assault on the opening day celebrations of Miyamoto's amusement/aquarium park where Migiwa kills dozens of attendees including Shouhei.

While comparisons have been made to the notorious woman's revenge film "I Spit On Your Grave", I think it's more along the lines of some of the "Zatoichi" films, where an otherwise peaceful individual is pushed to the limits of tolerance and goes on a sword-wielding attack on evil. While Migiwa is certainly not blind or disabled in anyway, her idyllic life is shattered beyond repair and that causes her to become a deadly harbinger of death against all those who wronged her.

The climax in particular is hard to swallow with Migiwa blindly murdering dozens of people in attendance at Miyamoto's gala event with no seeming remorse or concern whether or not they had anything to do with Keisuke's death. Also the aforementioned "deus ex machina" moment when a raging storm appears out of nowhere to save Migiwa from the hordes of police surrounding her is absolutely absurd (although it is hinted that it was brought on by a Buddhist totem/Kami that Migiwa had prayed to often).

Shirato Mari (a peculiar stage name) is very easy on the eyes and seems to have no shyness about full frontal nudity and stripping down and showing her ample assets. Her underwater scenes are very erotic and cinematographer Maeda Yonezo takes full advantage of photographing Mari in all her glory. Mari does a good job at making Migiwa a sympathetic character. Aoki Yoshio's Miyamoto Terumasa is certainly a scoundrel and Aoki relishes in the villainous portrayal. Shimizu Kentarô is also pretty good in his role as Shouhei and it was hard to figure him out, whether he was a villain or hero.

"Ningyo Densetsu" isn't a great film even in a grind-house exploitation film sense and has a lot of hard-to-take storyline contrivances but is an interesting curio revenge film may strike some as surprisingly bloody.

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