House

Director: Nobuhiko Ôbayashi
Year Released: 1977
Rating: 1.5

Seven annoying Japanese girls (who cannot act) wander into an old house to visit the one girl's Auntie (and impossibly puffy white cat) only to find themselves getting picked off one-by-one by the home's haunted powers. The stylistic choices by Ôbayashi are nonsensical - freeze-frames followed by fade outs, hideously intrusive music, an all-over-the-map color palette - and the plot makes no sense, but once in a while, in the ninety some minutes of inanity, comes a moment of astounding creativity which may not 'work' in a traditional sense but at the very least is a treat to look at. It reminds me, in a perverse way, of the yakuza-inspired pictures by Seijun Suzuki, which overdose on style but seem like they were scripted by people who may or may not have been under the influence of weapons-grade narcotics (apologies to Jack Donaghy). Some may argue it takes a certain kind of brilliance for Ôbayashi to make something this colorfully stupid, but I'll stick with the Kobayashis of Japanese cinema....