Eureka have scored a coup by getting Tag as part of their catalogue following on from Tokyo Tribe. The release will be on dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) edition on November 20th 2017 after getting shown at festivals around the UK.
I remember when this came out and I felt rather down because it was based on a long-running series of death-game movies and it featured schoolgirls and disturbing imagery. I was quite negative about it but that was premature. It turns out the film was pro-feminist and pretty fun (that’ll teach me about assumptions…).
“High levels of upskirt photography and grisly dismemberment notwithstanding, it’s perfectly legitimate to read “Tag” as a girl-power “Alice in Wonderland” variant in which three versions of Japanese womanhood find the means to kick against a male-controlled system that would seek to assign them positions of subservience and/or victimhood. Though action and excitement are clearly Sono’s primary concerns, viewers searching for deeper meaning to all this mayhem will certainly find plenty to think about along the way.” Richard Kuipers Variety
Sion Sono is one of my favourite directors (I have dedicated two seasons to the man’s work) and in recent years he has brought in a more feminist take on Japanese media. This film is based on a 2001 novel by Yusuke Yamada where people get involved in a “real hide-and-seek game” involving people with the family name Sato and a killer ghost. Five films were made and Tag is the latest one. For this film, schoolgirls replace people with the Sato family name.
リアル鬼ごっこ 「Riaru Onigokko」
Release Date: July 11th, 2015
Running Time: 85 mins.
Director: Sion Sono
Writer: Sion Sono (Screenplay), Yusuke Yamada (Original Novel)
Starring: Reina Triendl, Mariko Shinoda, Erina Mano, Yuka Sakurai, Maryjun Takahashi, Rin Honoa Cyborg Kaori, Mao Mita, Izumi, Mika Akizuki,
A high-school girl named Mitsuko (Triendl) narrowly avoids death and flees a massacre orchestrated by teachers. Over the course of her escape, she slips into an alternate reality where she takes on various forms… Keiko (Shinoda) and Izumi (Mano) and becomes involved in a fatal game of “tag” and are the targets of ghosts with various appearances including a groom with a pig’s face and female teacher with a machine gun.
– 1080p presentation (On the Blu-ray)
– Optional English subtitles
– Optional 5.1 or Stereo (uncompressed on the Blu-ray) audio tracks
– Theatrical trailer
‘Tag’ is available for order now from Amazon.co.uk.