And now, Scary-Crayon reviews...


by: Wes

Okay, let's begin this review of Naked Blood with a confession: I love this movie. It's one of the rare films that has the best elements of my favorite movies rolled into one picture -- weirdness that still follows an intellectual, almost pretentious ethic, great bits of dialogue, characters I actually find intriguing, and money shots that just make the movie a must-view for everyone who wants to see something wild. Admittedly, it's a difficult film to review, since most of it is so serious, and it's not the kind of film that can be mocked -- if I even wanted to mock it, which I don't -- because it really does make sense if you think about it (and/or watch it as many times as I have). Naked Blood is a movie that's much more suited to a graduate school film criticism essay than a Scary-Crayon review, but because most of you will never get the opportunity to see it -- and because of those money shots, which will be preceded by a warning for those of you at work or with weak stomachs -- we're going to do our best. But no matter how the tone of this article changes during the course of the review, make no mistake about it: Naked Blood has our highest recommendation. Let's begin.

Naked Blood

The film begins with the quiet kind of classical guitar sound you might expect to hear playing by a fireside as you ease down in your comfy armchair to read a selection of fairy tales to a group of children gathered 'round your feet. The title screen is equally relaxing, depicting a lone cactus against the backdrop of a light purple sky just after sunset. It's all so is the motion of the light blue fluid in the small bottle that a young scientist eyes as he works amidst his test tubes and beakers. This is high art, people, and I'm not ashamed to tell you that my heart soars as I look on.

Blue... like the ocean.Floors -- they're not just for waxing anymore!

As the music fades, our young scientist takes a seat at his computer on the floor -- because, as we all know, they're too good for chairs in Japan -- where he begins keying in some notes about the progress of his experiments. Here, we learn that he has finally completed his "brain secretion research," and that he has created "the ultimate painkiller for human beings." With this, he writes, "the happiness of mankind will improve significantly."

"We can now spend the day with a feeling of blue skies and spring."

Yes, he may have the brain of a scientist, but our young friend obviously has the soul of a poet. And what a creation -- a drug that increases the production of endorphins during moments of pain and sadness, such that the pain becomes pleasure! Truly, such a significant breakthrough must have a name. After a dramatic pause, the boy genius christens the drug: "My Son". Satisfied, he smiles and looks away from the screen to a nearby desk, where the small bottle of painkilling happiness sits next to a portrait of the boy's father -- who we can only assume has left this world for bluer skies. Then the boy scientist picks up the vial, leaving behind only the portrait, and places a small label on the bottle. With this act, the birth of My Son is complete. And after placing the drug and a few other supplies into a blue backpack, the boy begins to leave his dark attic apartment to bring the joy of My Son to the masses. He pauses for a moment to stare reverently at the photograph of his father, then slowly makes his way down the stairs and into the light below.

I think he likes her.Next, in a series of tranquil shots, we see the would-be Nobel Prize winner biking through the streets of Japan until finally arriving at an out of the way health center where his mother works. She's also a scientist, making preparations to test a new contraceptive. Eiji wants to watch, but unfortunately that's not allowed, even though he's her son (and even though he begs). But apparently it's perfectly acceptable to leave him alone with the new drug, since his mother goes off to attend to other business and -- while telling Eiji he should come back on a day when there's no testing -- makes no effort to get him to leave.

Aaaaand once she's gone, he sneakily removes his backpack, retrieves My Son, and injects a few drops of it into the contraceptive solution. Eiji then thumbs through the profiles of the test subjects, turning back to stare at the photograph of the second participant a little longer than the rest. Hmmm... perhaps Eiji has a crush? You'll see. In the meantime, Eiji exits the facility and gazes up at the clouds, glad to know that soon My Son will bring blue skies and spring to three lucky women. At least, assuming everything works according to plan...

"We won't know how to feed them all.""...that contraception is the only way to save the earth."

We cut to Eiji's mother briefing the three test subjects at the experiment, explaining the world's population problem and plainly stating that "contraception is the only way to save the earth" -- hence the importance of this drug and this study. Of course, this raises two related questions: A) "Couldn't we just stop fucking so damned much?" and B) "How the hell does one go about testing a contraceptive drug?" I mean, are the women just supposed to run around fucking every guy they meet to make sure it works okay? And what if it doesn't? "Oops, ladies, we fucked up! Now you're stuck with this kid for the rest of your life, unless you choose to give it up for adoption or have an abortion, in which case you'll just be stuck feeling guilty and/or making offerings to Jizo until you die." I don't get it.

Behold: THE CACTUS.Meanwhile, on a nearby balcony of the facility, Eiji videotapes the proceedings. The three women are hooked up to IVs as the drug filters into their system, and the one to whom Eiji took a fancy looks up and notices him taping her from above. I'd find that a little odd, even creepy, but she doesn't seem to care. Apathy is her name. Actually, it's Rika Mikami.

Afterwards, we get a few artistic shots of blood running through vessels, followed by a pan from that wonderful cactus to the shining sun in the sky above. I told you this was high art, people.

Let's take a moment to consider the meaning of the cactus, since it's such an important symbol throughout Naked Blood. My first thoughts have to do with the particular location of the cactus -- we find them in the desert, a dry and barren landscape that would leave your clothes grey with sand and would turn your eyes red if you opened them when the wind blew. It is a lifeless place. And on the outside, the cactus seems to match its environment, with sharp needles that prick you if you get too close. The cactus is the consummate loner. But inside? Water flows freely. The ocean is made up of water, you know, and My Son is the blue of the ocean... so there's definitely a connection there. And given that the cactus is filled with water, we might also draw a connection between it and ourselves, since we, too, are filled with a wet substance -- blood -- which is what the cactus will draw if it pricks us hard enough. You see, if a person gets close and entrusts oneself to the cactus, it will reveal the individual's inmost desires -- as it's later put, "the scenery of the heart." To embrace the cactus is to open yourself, to let your blood flow... naked.

That does it for the analysis for now, but think about those loftier thoughts -- and others that might spring to mind as you read -- for the duration of the review. As silly as the film might seem at times, given the lighting, the music, the mood of it all, Naked Blood demands to be viewed in this way. Remember that, and remember the cactus. The cactus is important. Anyway! With the drug successfully administered, the three women are free to go... and since "they're all in this together," as they say, the three of them decide to go for lunch. So let's meet them, shall we?

"Doesn't it wear you out?"

Since she was the only one of the three women they actually bothered to name in the film -- and they didn't even do that until over halfway through the movie -- we'll start with Rika Mikami. Her claim to fame? She hasn't slept since she got her period in the fifth grade, because, according to the doctor, "the shock of menstruating... blocked the sleeping cycle." Well, alrighty then. Also, she apparently seems "a bit plant-like." Hell if I know what that means.

"The best meal gives me the greatest pleasure."

Hide your fingers; she's hungry!As noted above, the other women didn't get names in the film. Their characters don't even have names listed in the flippin' credits. They are the nameless. So we're going to give them names. And headshots. Above and at right, then, we have the hat-wearing Miss Greedy, whose modus operandi involves being a fucking pig. Not only does "the greatest meal [give her] the greatest pleasure," but, in her view, "man was born to eat and will continue to eat until he dies." Fun. Anyway, when she's not talking or singing about food, she's cooking and eating it, and not just any food but weird shit like ham with melon and pudding. Yeah, I'm not one to talk, given some of the dishes in SC's Foodstuffs section, but still -- ham with melon and pudding??? Is that a common dish in Japan? Or is that a pregnant lady craving? Hell, maybe it's a good thing that she's on this contraceptive drug -- if she eats shit like that now, who knows what she'd eat with a bun in the oven? For that matter, who knows what she'll eat with My Son in her system? Well, I do, but I've already seen the movie and I'm not going to ruin the surprise. Trust me -- it's worth the wait.

"My greatest happiness is to have a nice body and nice clothes."

Laaaaaaady in red o/~And last and least, because she's the least interesting character of the bunch, we have the lady in red, who will henceforward be known as Narcissa Jones. She divulges her personality quirk by responding to Miss Greedy thusly: "I'd hate to get fat and ugly. I'd rather starve and die." Yep, as you see above, her "greatest happiness is to have a nice body and nice clothes," thus making her the superficial, high-maintenance bitch of the group. Hey, I guess every clique of women has to have at least one member like that, so why should the gals of Naked Blood be any different? Be glad they're not all like Narcissa here, if only because I don't think any of us could endure three scenes involving female armpit hair plucking. Yep, you'll want to stay tuned for that one.

I'm home, Mr. Cactus.Just like TRON!

Now, they can *both* relax.So while the shallow, nameless girls go off and do whatever it is shallow, nameless girls do in Japan, we come home with Rika and find out how life goes on the sleepless side of town. And we meet Rika's roommate, a cactus. Seriously -- she greets it when she comes in and spends a good minute pacing around it, admiring it. When she leaves, she'll say goodbye. And when she "sleeps" -- that is, when she puts on VR-type goggles and daydreams until she gets bored with it -- she makes damned sure that the cactus has a pair too. Oh, and as for what she's "dreaming" about? I'm thinking that the doc's theory about the shock of menstruation having a lasting effect on her just got a bit more support, given that she dreams of being covered in blood in the middle of a subway station. Nice.

We miss you, Papa-san.

Back at Eiji's, we learn about Eiji's father in a series of skillful storytelling devices. First, Eiji talks a bit about his project, to which his mother responds, "Your father would be proud," and here we learn that the father, too, was a scientist. Then, as if the strategic placing of portrait from before -- which, by the way, Eiji places on his chest when he sleeps -- wasn't enough to let us know that he was dead or otherwise missing in action, later that night the mother, Yuki, gets drunk and watches old home movies of herself and her husband on the beach. We feel your pain, Yuki. :( Meanwhile, Eiji makes plans to stalk the girls with his handy-dandy camcorder in tow.

Act naturally."What are you doing?"

Aaaaand, come the next day, that's exactly what he does. He films the uninteresting Greedy and Narcissa from afar -- who happen to be cooking food and primping in the mirror, respectively -- but because Rika keeps her shades drawn, Eiji's got to get up close and personal with her. As you see above, he gets a little too close. Now, any other guy caught in the act of stalking might freak out and run away -- especially given that Rika's seen him before and is onto his game -- but Eiji just keeps filming, 'cause he's that cool. And then, as if we needed more proof, in the dialogue that follows, he busts loose with the best pickup lines ever known to man. Seriously, check it out. And take notes.

"You have been filming me."Rika: What are you doing?

Eiji: What?

Rika: You have been filming me.

Eiji: Eh?

Rika: With that camera. All the time.

Eiji: Nonsense.

You see? Even though Rika insists that she's seen him filming her -- later, even going so far as to note that she saw him during the experiment -- Eiji denies it each time. Moreover, oftentimes he doesn't even bother to use words to do so, as when he says "eh?" or responds with silence or by shaking his head! BRILLIANT! So for those of you taking notes, playing dumb and denying that you're stalking the girl is Step 1. Now, let's continue our lesson with the master.

Rika: Are you some kind of freak?

Eiji: I'm her son. The scientist in charge of the experiment... I'm her only son.

"Are you some kind of freak?"Rika: You don't look like her at all.

Eiji: Whether I look like her or not, it's the truth.

Rika: Then why are you following me?

Eiji: I'm not following you.

Rika: Then we will say goodbye and I will never have to see your face again.

As you see above, Step 2 is the moment of truth. Now, she may try to muddy up your pristine waters by stepping in them -- as Rika does by saying that Eiji doesn't look like his mother -- but instead of cracking, you've got to stand your ground and let that bitch know you're no liar, damnit! Then you've got to be able to lie with that same conviction, as when Eiji again insists that he's not following Rika. This will convince the girl that you were telling the truth about that, too. However, if you were telling the truth, and you really weren't stalking her, then there's nothing to talk about. So while you're out of danger, per se, you're also in danger of losing the girl. This is where the all-important Step 3 comes in...

"I've hated you from the moment I saw you."Eiji: I've hated you from the moment I saw you. ... I don't know why, I just don't like you.
I want you to dislike me as well.

Rika: I dislike you quite enough.

Eiji: You dislike me?

Rika: Yes, I do.

Eiji: Good.

See, at this crucial point, the name of the game is improvisation -- you've got to come up with something to keep the girl interested in hanging around with you a little longer. You might try and play the guilt card, making her feel bad for accusing you of stalking her when she now believes you weren't, or, if you happen to be filming people, you might ask if she's interested in whatever project you pretended to be undertaking with the camera. Eiji, on the other hand, goes for completely uncharted territory, as he jumps in front of Rika, sticks the camera in her face, and tells her that he hates her. What a move! It's bizarre, it's baffling, it's unexpected -- it's something that's likely to send you right back to Creepyville after you spent so long trying to work your way out...

"You're a stupid idiot.""That's why I hate living creatures."

...and, for some inexplicable reason, it works like a fucking charm. Sure, Rika responds by calling Eiji a "stupid idiot," but she's laughing when she says it -- that's how you know you've got her. And here, the next thing we know, the two of them are sitting on a bench in a garden as Rika confides in Eiji and tells him about her hatred of living creatures. It's beautiful, really. Thus concludes today's lesson of Pick-up Tips for Stalkers. Good luck, you creepy bastards!

Gaaaahhhh bloody hell."what shall I eat today / sukiyaki, steak, sushi, shabushabu"

So while the two lovebirds get to know each other a little better, we cut to Narcissa Jones at her apartment. She's still pretty much as Eiji left her, prancing about in her yellow aerobics outfit and admiring herself in the mirror. She's a little less than pleased, however, when she notices a bit of unsightly armpit hair, so we're treated to a scene of her plucking it, complete with a closeup. Ugh, how appetizing. And speaking of appetizing, Miss Greedy is still making with the food preparations while singing a silly little song about all of the things she could be eating at the moment. But maybe she should be paying less attention to her stupid song and more attention to the squid she's cutting... oops, too late, looks like she's had an oopsie. Apparently, however, it's a delicious oopsie, as she proceeds to suck the living shit out of her bleeding finger as if it's the most scrumptious thing she's ever tasted. Yes! I think My Son is beginning to take effect...

"The cactus will show you the scenery of your heart."

Meanwhile, Rika has taken Eiji to her apartment and is showing him her relaxation setup. Yes, they just met, and she's already invited him into her home and, essentially, into her bed -- pretty damned good for a creepy stalker kid! (Remember, that lesson's still up there, so feel free to scroll up anytime for a quick review.) So Rika tells Eiji about the cactus -- far from being just a plant, she feels as if she's one with it and, she says, she dreams together with it. When she sits Eiji down in the chair and places the goggles over his head, she urges him to "empty his heart first" and then "entrust everything to the cactus." For, as she notes above, "The cactus will show you the scenery of your heart." Apparently the scenery of Eiji's heart involves him fucking Rika on an inflatable raft in the middle of a sea of blood. And while he's experiencing this lovely vision from the heart, Rika steals a kiss from his semi-conscious lips. How sweet.

DELICIOUS PAIN!!!Yummy, yummy, yummy, I've got MY FINGER in my tummy.

While that's going on, Miss Greedy batters her hand with tempura mix, fries it in hot oil, and then proceeds to eat one of her fucking fingers. Remember, My Son turns pain into pleasure, and what Greedy finds pleasurable is eating... so yeah, I guess feeling pain while eating equals intense pleasure. And hey, while we're at it, let's play the foreshadowing game! Can you think of a part of the body that's associated with pleasure? Good! STAY TUNED!

Obsessive? Not our Eiji!

And here's where we learn that despite their obvious charm, guys like Eiji don't need girlfriends -- after spending the day with Rika, he goes home and types her name into his computer ad infinitum. I understand that he's smitten and all, but that's a bit much, doncha think? Maybe it's just me. (This, by the way, is where we first learn her name in the film. Nice to meet you, Rika Mikami. Rika Mikami. Rika Mikami. Rika Mikami...) Anyway, from Eiji's conversation with his mom at dinner and more drunken reel-watching, we learn a bit more about daddy dearest -- apparently he was working on a way to find eternal life. Believing that "light is life," he left a pregnant Yuki on the beach to follow a light out into the ocean and never came back. Which I guess explains Eiji's weird attachment to his father and, in a way, to Rika, since he never got to know his dad and wants to make sure he holds onto Rika, or at least the memory of her... by typing her name ten billion times. I'm thinking maybe a mall booth photo would've worked just as well, but to each his own.

Uh, Narcissa? I don't think that looks too good.Covered in baubles and blood.

So we cut to Narcissa's place, where what started as a simple ear piercing has become an all-consuming compulsion to pierce every exposed inch of skin on her body with some kind of trinket or bauble. Yes, MY SON strikes again! Remember that she was really into having a nice body and nice clothes? Well, if jewelry's included in the latter group, it all makes sense -- the pain of sticking shit into her body becomes pleasure, which is compounded by her presumption that she's adorning her body with beautiful frippery. Sure, she looks like a zombie pincushion and is bleeding all over the fucking place, but everything's got a price. Why should beauty be an exception? So while Narcissa sticks pretty things into herself and just can't stop because it FEELS SO GOOD, Rika suddenly comes running in and tries to stop her. Why the hell is Rika there, anyway? They just met the other day, hadn't spoken to each other since lunch, and all of a sudden Rika's barging into her place without even knocking. But obviously there's some logic to this -- it just escapes us at the moment. How do I know that Rika's presence there actually makes sense, you ask? Simple! Because right after she appears, we cut to a shot of the cactus. The cactus will show you the scenery of your heart.


Get ready for it...

What you are about to see is not for the faint of heart. Like, waaaay worse than what Narcissa just did to herself up there. This isn't the end of the film, but it damned sure deserves to be called the climax. Proceed, if you dare, to witness the defining scene of Naked Blood...


Still with us? Good! You sick fuck. Now, you too can have nightmares about Miss Greedy cutting a piece of meat from her own kooch and then eating it! That was one of those times I wished for double italics, folks, but the boldfaced and italicized text will have to do. Actually, no, I don't think that covered it at all. Let's try again, shall we?



And she really enjoys it, too! But wait! SHE'S NOT DONE. See, human finger tempura was the appetizer, but vagina meat was only the first course of this full-course meal! What's next on the menu, Miss Greedy? Oh, I'm scared to ask!

What's caught her eye now...?DEAR GOD, NO!!!!!! NOT THE NIPPLE!!!!!!



So yeah, Miss Greedy cuts off her own fucking nipple and gobbles it up too. It's like some fucking sick children's song:

Yeah, you know your kids would eat that song up. Get it? Ha ha!There was a young lady who swallowed her tit --
she found it to be a quite delicious bit.
She swallowed the tit to top the clit;
she swallowed the clit to be stroked by the finger;
that fucking My Son made her swallow the finger...
so now it'll linger! (In her stomach.)

Thank you, thank you. At this point, folks, we're going to take a moment to recap what's happened thus far in the film. Young Eiji Kure made a drug called My Son -- a drug designed to allow us to spend our days with a feeling of blue skies and spring by making us feel pleasure when we might otherwise be feeling pain. Young Eiji Kure stealthily (and unethically, I might add) contaminated a new contraceptive with this drug, and watched from afar with his camcorder as three young girls were unwittingly injected with the miracle drug. While young Eiji Kure courted and subsequently became obsessed with the resident insomniac of the bunch, the other two horribly mutilated themselves in a manner directly tied to things they enjoyed, such as looking pretty and consuming mass quantities. The cactus oversaw all.

It just keeps... getting... worse!Oh, and sometime before Eiji was born, his father disappeared into the ocean while searching for eternal life, leaving his scientist mother a drunken wreck who tests contraceptive drugs. And we must wonder if this had something to do with her own plight in life, mustn't we? After all, she had to raise her son by herself -- perhaps, had she been using the proper contraceptive, she might have been spared this burden. And perhaps now we wouldn't be watching poor Miss Greedy greedily devour pieces of her own flesh. She's not finished with that, by the way.

BAM!An eyeball for the gullet.

So after catching sight of her own eye reflected in the knife blade, Miss Greedy decides that it's got to GET IN HER BELLEAH too and proceeds to gouge it with the fork and pop it out with the knife. She then devours it as fresh blood spurts from the empty red socket with every chew. And that's really the reason you watch Naked Blood, folks. Yeah, it's a pretty deep film, and given the themes of contraception, pain and pleasure, and eternal life -- not to mention the symbolism of the cactus -- you could read a lot of interesting insights into the movie. But that's not why you watch. You watch to see a woman tempura fry and eat her hand, then eat a piece of her own raw kooch, then cut off and devour her nipple, followed by a forkful of her own eyeball. If Hollywood monkeys were making a trailer for this film today, they wouldn't highlight the interesting premise involving My Son, they wouldn't look at the father's quest and presence in the film (despite his absence), they wouldn't highlight the individual quirks of the girls -- they'd probably just cut out the self-cannibalizing scene and put it right upfront for you (that is, if the censors didn't stop them). Then they'd probably flash the cactus, since you can't get away without flashing the cactus. Look, there it is again.

Bye-bye, Narcissa Jones.Damn, damn, DAMN!!!

So following that, we get a shot of the mutilated corpse of Narcissa Jones, and then a moment later we see that Rika has discovered the partially-eaten body of Miss Greedy. Eiji, of course, has been filming it all from the distance. With the knowledge that his experiment has gone horribly wrong, he returns home and proceeds to throw all of his shit around the room in a fit of frustration and anger, because everybody knows that breaking shit when you're upset solves everything. At the hospital, Mama Yuki is also distraught -- two of her subjects have died, after all, due to an unknown substance that happens to have filtered into the contraceptive. Eiji arrives on the scene in tears and admits that he was responsible. Then, after embracing his mother tightly, he violently tongue-kisses her before hopping onto his bicycle and riding off into the sunset. Well! Eiji may be a creepy little shit, but the kid sure knows how to make an exit.

Hang in there, Yuki...Naked blood? Naked intestines.

And then, a second later, we find Eiji's mom lying on one of the hospital beds with her intestines exposed to the world. She's still alive, but damn -- that can't feel too good, especially since she didn't get an injection of My Son to transform the pain into a feeling of blue skies and spring (I don't think I'll ever get tired of that line). I also find it quite ironic that she's laid out like this in a fucking hospital and nobody is coming to her assistance. Perhaps, in addition to its other underlying intellectual content, Naked Blood here means to take a jab at Japan's medical system? Perhaps Mrs. Kure just isn't important or rich enough to get that life-saving operation, so she'll have to wait there in pain with her fucking organs showing until the docs are good and ready to grab the thread and sew her up. See? This movie is deep.

"So pain becomes joy, and sadness becomes happiness."Sweet VR lovin'.

Over at Rika's, Eiji laments the failure of his experiment and restates his good intentions -- he just wanted to give humanity eternal happiness, "so pain becomes joy, and sadness becomes happiness." I'd say he's spending too much time focusing on the negatives here -- after all, he did get some part of the equation right -- but our sad scientist is too down to be swayed. He then injects himself with the remaining My Son solution and declares aloud, "That's all of it. There's not a drop left. My dream has ended." Rika moves in close to him and responds, "It's not over yet. It will continue inside us." Then she slips the VR goggles over Eiji's head, dons a pair herself, and begins kissing him passionately... much like he just finished kissing his own mother. If she only knew where those lips have been!

Before the cactus, two become one.

So in their virtual ecstasy, before the watchful eye of the perverted cactus, Eiji and Rika make hot naked love. As they come, we see a few flashbacks, whereupon the horrible truth is revealed -- while Narcissa Jones and Miss Greedy, it is true, had done horrible things to themselves under the influence of My Son, it was actually Rika who put the final nail in each of their coffins. Recall that she earlier said that she hated all living beings? Well, apparently it was only depression and apathy that made her such an underachiever... and with the My Son in her system, turning her sadness into joy, she was free to indulge her heart's true desires and stick sharp things into people as she pleased. Yeah, she was also the one who slashed Eiji's mom open. And apparently, since Eiji was filming it all, he knew that Rika was the killer -- at least concerning the deaths of Narcissa and Greedy -- so he really came to her for a release, both sexually and physically, from this world. Thus, their lovemaking session complete, it's time for Eiji to die. Rika kisses him once more, removes his VR goggles, and slashes his throat with an exacto knife. Ah, parting is such sweet sorrow.

"I've kept you waiting for so long. But I'm here now...""...and we'll be together forever."

With the death of the son, we return to the mother, still gasping for breath with her gut exposed on the bed. Suddenly, the walls are covered with ripples of light as if reflected from water... and then her husband, Eiji's father -- Mr. Kure, in the flesh -- materializes in the room! He acknowledges that he's kept his wife waiting for so long, but, now that he's back, they'll be together at last. "From now on," he says, "we will live forever." Then, Mr. Kure proceeds to dive into Yuki's open wound, pulling the bloody flaps of skin closed behind him. Yuki appears to expire, and then we see that, miraculously, the wound has somehow healed... then her body vanishes... and then a number of tiny, dancing particles of light appear as the laughter of the two reunited lovers fills the room. I guess he found eternal life after all -- and from the sound of things, eternal happiness as well. I'm glad for you, Yuki. After putting up with that creepy son for all of these years and having your stomach slashed open by a crazy plant-like girl, you deserve some joy.  :)

"I think I'll go west today. It hasn't spread there yet.""The dream has not ended yet."

Then, following another shot of the cactus, we fade into what appears to be the near future. We see Rika exit a trailer in the middle of the desert, atop which sits a young boy with a camcorder in his hand. As the boy's name is Eiji and he addresses Rika as "Mother", we can only imagine that this boy is, in fact, the love-child born of Rika's final encounter with the late Eiji Kure. Hey, waitasec -- weren't they supposed to be on contraceptive drugs? Well, either the My Son blunted the effect of the drug or that shit just plain didn't work, because he obviously managed to impregnate her despite the drug's presence in her system. But perhaps the movie is saying something about happiness -- that it is inexorably tied to birth, and that, therefore, where happiness is present, a contraceptive is doomed to fail...? Or perhaps another meaning is at work here? Either way, I'm sure there's something like that going on, given the image of Mr. Kure slithering into Yuki's "womb" before their happy transformation into light. So! Having killed lots of people and somehow continuing to elude capture by the authorities, Rika lives in the desert with her son and spends her days driving around on a motorbike that sprays a jet of My Son into the air behind it wherever it goes... so I guess they made an airborne version of it or something. I dunno! But clearly, as young Eiji Deux notes, "The dream has not ended yet."


And so Naked Blood ends with Rika driving off into the distance, keeping Eiji's dream alive and bring the happiness of My Son to all breathing creatures. Naturally, she rides past a cactus, with which we're left as the credits roll. Well. Short of writing a detailed examination of every inkling of meaning in the film, short of a ten-page foray into the significance of the cactus, short of an extensive review of the major themes of the film and a lengthy essay discussing the various ways in which they relate to one another, I've pretty much said all that I wanted to say about Naked Blood in this review. For some reason I've been avoiding this word, because the second I use it to describe a film you'll start picturing wacky drug sequences and weird blur effects and the film has very few of those, but here goes -- it's really a surreal viewing experience. If you can get your hands on it (after a friend showed it to me, I was so moved that I purchased the DVD on eBay), I definitely recommend doing so, as it's one of those films you break out to show your friends on a night when you're all in the mood for something stimulating, engaging, and that'll leave you with something you can discuss for hours afterwards. And it's in Japanese too, so you've got the added element of "I'm so into exotic foreign cinema" pretention to throw into the mix. On the other hand, that's not really why you watch Naked Blood...

Bloody hell.

Bloody hell.  x_x;;

-- Wes --

Psst...wanna make a PayPal donation to Scary-Crayon?

Just click the image above! Simple, no? ;)

Back to Scary-Crayon