Higanjima

Based on a manga by Tetsuya Oishi, the film starts media res as a terrified man runs through a forest and hides in a temple. Soon, the reason for his terror appears as vampires burst in and begin to torment the poor chap before a masked stranger bursts in using a huge log to obliterate a vampire’s head.

Nothing subtle here then.

Akira Miyamoto (Hideo Ishiguro) is a normal school-boy with a family falling apart due to the disappearance of his older brother Atsushi (Dai Watanabe) and his fiancé’s disappearance. When a mysterious woman tells Akira she knows where Atsushi is, she offers hope of finding him but he is suspicious and recruits his friends to get more information about the woman. Unfortunately, they are attacked by a vampire which the woman eliminates. She reveals more about what has happened to Atsushi and asks Akira to accompany her to the island. Which is inhabited by even more vampires. Akira is determined to find his brother and his friends are determined to protect him.

And so, they head to the island brimming with confidence and looking woefully underprepared. This is a fast moving b-movie and knows it. Once surrounded by a horde of bad-guys one of heroes says, “Guys, there’s something strange about these villagers.”  I couldn’t help but grin.

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