The Hisayasu Sato thread

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The Hisayasu Sato thread

Unread post by Guro Taku » 29 May 2016, 12:24

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Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyLc5pFZW9I

I'm not sure what it's about exactly, other than some psycho seems to be running around Tokyo licking people's eyeballs and then tearing them out and storing them in vials.

This is an extremely exciting project for me, even if I was less than thrilled with Sato's output in recent years. This, however, sees him return to screenwriter Shiro Yumeno, who in the past decades has scripted some of Sato's absoulute best work. This is Yumeno's first collaboration with Sato since 2006's (admittedly less-than-stellar) SI-SEI.

Fascinatingly, the film was co-produced by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel, the directors of the 2012 documentary LEVIATHAN.

It stars Rina Sakuragi (AKA X PINKU, Sato's own HANADAMA: THE ORIGIN), Yota Kawase (HANADAMA: PHANTOM), Tsuyoshi Nakano (Takashi Ishii's SWEET WHIP), Issei Sagawa (Sato's SOFT SKIN やわらかい肌 and THE BEDROOM 浮気妻 恥辱責め), Tatsuki Kobayashi, Shailee Namiki and some other people called "Wako", "Marissa" and "Panta".

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Re: Dream of Eyeball (Hisayasu Sato, 2016)

Unread post by HungFist » 29 May 2016, 13:41

Guro Taku wrote:Fascinatingly, the film was co-produced by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel, the directors of the 2012 documentary LEVIATHAN.
I believe they filmed a documentary movie about Sato during the production of Dream of Eyeball.

I also recall hearing that the real life cannibal (what was his name... I believe he has been in a Sato film before as well?) is in the film.

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Re: Dream of Eyeball (Hisayasu Sato, 2016)

Unread post by Guro Taku » 29 May 2016, 15:32

I missed that! Yes, Issei Sagawa (佐川一政) was previously in Sato's THE BEDROOM 浮気妻 恥辱責め (1992) and SOFT SKIN やわらかい肌 (1998).

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Re: Dream of Eyeball (Hisayasu Sato, 2016)

Unread post by HungFist » 12 Jun 2016, 11:00


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Re: Dream of Eyeball (Hisayasu Sato, 2016)

Unread post by Guro Taku » 10 Mar 2017, 10:11

North American premiere was last December:

http://www.spectacletheater.com/the-eyes-dream/

It has also already enjoyed festival play at Lausanne and Rotterdam.

The official English title is THE EYE'S DREAM instead of the Engrishy DREAM OF EYEBALL. Could somebody edit the thread title to reflect this, please?

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Re: The Eye's Dream (Dream of Eyeball) (Hisayasu Sato, 2016)

Unread post by Guro Taku » 14 Apr 2017, 17:18

Midori-Impuls will release this in Germany. Some of their releases include English subtitles, some don't. No info yet how they'll handle this one.

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Re: The Eye's Dream (Dream of Eyeball) (Hisayasu Sato, 2016)

Unread post by Guro Taku » 19 Aug 2018, 19:45

No news about THE EYE'S DREAM but another new film by Sato will hit DVD November 2nd from Happinet.

Trailer: http://www.is-field.com/kawa-aku/trailer.html

Artwork:

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Screenplay by UNDERWATER LOVE/HANA-DAMA's Shinji Imaoka. If I'm understanding things correctly it's a psychological drama/thriller about a cute girl who cuts her boyfriend's dick off with some pruning shears. I'll watch it of course but to be honest I don't think it looks all that great.

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Re: The Eye's Dream (Dream of Eyeball) (Hisayasu Sato, 2016)

Unread post by Guro Taku » 02 Dec 2018, 11:12

I watched the DVD of 可愛い悪魔 / Cute Devil recently and it is indeed a bit of a step backward in quality for Sato after the complete masterpiece that was Hana Dama: Phantom. I bring up Hana Dama for more than one reason because obviously Hana Dama's screenwriter Shinji Imaoka also wrote this film and I have a suspicion that it was originally intended as the 3rd Hana Dama film but (maybe because the previous two didn't sell well enough?) was transformed into its own thing. Add a couple of scenes at the opening and in the last third where the fucked up CGI flower comes out of the lead actress' head and you'd have an entry in that series instead. Anyway, Cute Devil is the story of one Miho, who is seen in the opening scene standing by while one man castrates another. We then cut to her being chased by a third guy who introduces himself as a writer eager to tell her side of the story and to "safe" her. A number of flashbacks then get the story unfolding, as Miho and a number of other people involved in or close to the incident are interviewed - including the newly dickless man from the opening scene. Nobody is who he or she seems at first and everybody is a decidedly unreliable narrator, which leads to some interesting twists and turns before the film reaches its conclusion. It's no masterpiece in Sato's filmography but still quite interesting in a variety of ways. I'd instantly rate it higher had it been shot on 16mm instead on some eel-slick digital stock. Also worth noting: For a film rated 15+ there's a ton of shots of unpixillated chopped-off penises and also full-frontal nudity from lead actress Nana Nanaumi.

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Re: The Eye's Dream (Dream of Eyeball) (Hisayasu Sato, 2016)

Unread post by HungFist » 02 Dec 2018, 11:46

Not very high on my watch list, but I might see it some day. Thanks for the review.

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Re: The Eye's Dream (Dream of Eyeball) (Hisayasu Sato, 2016)

Unread post by Guro Taku » 02 Dec 2018, 18:40

I felt like watching another Sato film and was able to find his 1993 film 快感ONANIE 新妻篇 (Pleasant Masturbation: New Wife Chapter) on a VOD site under its theatrical re-release title 美人妻 薄毛の柔肌 (Beautiful Wife: Hairless Soft Skin). The reason I picked this one is that it turns out the Hana-Dama films and Cute Devil are nowhere near the beginning of Sato and Imaoka's collaborative relationship. Before beginning his own career as a director in 1995, Imaoka actually served as assistant director on a number of Sato's film between 1992 and 1994, including THE BEDROOM, LOVE - ZERO = INFINITY and PLEASANT MASTURABTION.

Theatrical Re-Release poster:

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This isn't one of Sato's best film, to be honest. The story (screenplay by Kyoko Godai) is flimsy at best and concerns a woman named Reiko who's been stuck in a love- and sexless marriage for 6 months and turns to masturbation and sexual fantasies as a result. The twist is that her husband is so distant because he's a voyeur and gets his kicks watching live sex shows at a club on a TV screen. When the club madam (Sato regular Kiyomi Ito) finds out he's married now she gets curious and connects with the frustrated wife. This eventually leads to a happy ending of sorts with husband and wife realizing they're made for each other after all, she being a exhibitionist masturbator and he a peeping tom. The more interesting aspects of the film include a talk between the club madam and the husband where he states that he only married out of necessity since Japanese society looks down on a man of a certain age without a wife and and rumors of homosexuality or "other problems" can be a hindrance in the workplace. Also present and accounted for is Sato's favorite theme of technology and sexuality interacting, here illustrated with video cameras acting as surrogates of both the penis and the eyes of a sex partner. Sato also does his best to make things visually interesting with a number of well-framed shots and copious use of blue, red, pink and violet filters throughout. Even one of Sato's lesser films such as this is still better than what most other directors in the pink genre could hope to churn out. There are many better works in Sato's filmography, however, and PLEASANT MASTURABTION as such is recommended more for the completist and certainly not for the Sato novice.

Reiko losing her virginity to a vibrator:

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Kiyomi Ito!

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Scenes like this are even more fun if you know that Sato always shot them without permits:

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Happy Ending à la Sato:

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Re: The Eye's Dream (Dream of Eyeball) (Hisayasu Sato, 2016)

Unread post by Guro Taku » 01 Mar 2019, 10:54

Can we make this a general Hisayasu Sato news/reviews thread? There's hardly enough interest for each bit of info to get its own thread, so I figure a catch-all is warranted.

The "big" news today? A new film by Hisaysu Sato has popped up on a VOD service for the first time in 8 goddamn years! Considering there are still over two dozen of his films that have never received a home video release, my one remaining hope of ever getting my eyeballs on them is VOD but even that has been a dismal affair in recent years.

The new release (on FANZA/DMM) is Hidden Video Report: Dark Shot! 盗撮リポート 陰写 (1991) aka Turtle Vision.

http://www.dmm.co.jp/digital/nikkatsu/- ... h&i3_ord=1 (Japanese IP address required)

Note that FANZA lists it as a Nikkatsu title for some reason when it was definitely a Kokuei production released by Shin Toho. Someone smarter than me figure that one out.

It's one of Sato's better films in my opinion but not the most exciting addition since it was already available on VHS and this is clearly the same transfer. Still, it inspires some hope that maybe the missing titles will surface digitally after all. At the going rate it should only take about 300 years.
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Re: The Eye's Dream (Dream of Eyeball) (Hisayasu Sato, 2016)

Unread post by HungFist » 01 Mar 2019, 13:47

Guro Taku wrote:
01 Mar 2019, 10:54
Can we make this a general Hisayasu Sato news/reviews thread? There's hardly enough interest for each bit of info to get its own thread, so I figure a catch-all is warranted.
Be my guest. You can further modify the thread title if you want.
Guro Taku wrote:
01 Mar 2019, 10:54
Note that FANZA lists it as a Nikkatsu title for some reason when it was definitely a Kokoei production released by Shin Toho. Someone smarter than me figure that one out.
I don't think it's "really" listed as a Nikkatsu title, it's just that the while pink film section on the site is listed under Nikkatsu's name for some reason.

http://www.dmm.co.jp/digital/nikkatsu/

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Re: The Hisayasu Sato thread

Unread post by Guro Taku » 30 Mar 2019, 09:42

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Office Lady Rape: Disgrace! (OL暴行汚す, 1986) was Sato's 4th film as a director. This is probably as good a time as any to address how more often than not the official release titles for his films are absolutely horrible and bear no relation to the plot of the actual film. This may well be part of the reason why Sato isn't more widely known and appreciated. This film is about two alienated film-school dropouts, a young man and a young woman, whose lives spiral out of contral as they realize their youthful dreams have no chance of realization in the real world. The guy gave up on his ambitions to become a filmmaker and has instead started to work in his parents' store. The girl doesn't deal with her disillusionment in such a mundane matter. Instead, she masturbates with a telephone she previously pulled out of a staticky TV she claims is connected to "the other side" or "the beyond" (向こう). This is why, when she wants to talk to her mother, she has to use a public phone booth - but then we find out she's actually having one-sided conversations with the telephone time service. Eventually her mental instability gets even worse and, in a neat reveral of the usual exploitation flick tropes, she ends up stranging her boyfriend to death, then keeping his corpse under the floorboards and feeding him her menstrual blood! So, circling back to the bullshit with the title... The low-key supernatural aspects of this story are clearly more likely to find an appreciative audience in (horror) genre film fans as opposed to guys looking to rub one out to office ladies getting sexually assaulted.

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Re: The Hisayasu Sato thread

Unread post by Guro Taku » 30 Mar 2019, 18:09

There's more to Sato and the titles for his films... If you take a look at Sato's filmography on his Wikipedia page you will find that each film has a "release title" and also what is listed as "Sato's title". I was never sure if those titles really originated from Sato or if some fan made them up. I also wondered for the longest time why Uplink released Sato's Lolita Vibrator Torture (1987) as "The Secret Garden" (秘蜜の花園, literally the title Frances Hodgson Burnett's book was published under in Japan) when they put the film out on DVD in Japan in 2002. Turns out all I'd have had to do is check out all the extras because included is a photo from the set where the film's title is clearly "The Secret Garden" (秘蜜の花園):

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So yeah, Sato clearly agrees that the release titles are bullshit and even shot the films under different names.

Speaking of LVT, Synapse/Impulse Pictures recently put it out on DVD under its full release title:

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I will post full screenshot comparisons at a later date but rest assured that Synapse used the same 32 year old VHS master that was previously used for the Japanese VHS, DVD and VOD releases. To their credit they encoded it slightly better than Uplink. It's anamorphic now instead of letterboxed and the black levels are much improved. It's still a gnarly 32 year old VHS master though. And of course they didn't license any of the extras from the Japanese DVD, the most worthwhile of which is a Sato/Yumeno/Ito audio commentary. Definitely a missed opportunity.

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Re: The Hisayasu Sato thread

Unread post by Guro Taku » 27 Apr 2019, 14:11

Love - Zero = Infinity (いやらしい人妻 濡れる, 1994) was added to DMM/FANZA's selection of Sato's films today, exactly 2 months after they added Turtle Vision. The film never had any home video release in Japan, not even on VHS, but of course was released on DVD by Artsmagic in the US. Checking through other recent additions, it looks like production company KOKUEI is finally putting out some of their catalogue titles this way.

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Re: The Hisayasu Sato thread

Unread post by Guro Taku » 04 May 2019, 12:05

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Price of a Married Woman: Fragrant Desires (人妻の値段 匂いたつ欲望, 2001) starts like a standard Sato film with a lonely guy stealing garbage and then reading people's sex lives by sniffing and analyzing the waste - which leads to flashback sex scenes. Amusing as this is, the real story starts when his new neighbors introduce themselves to him and he becomes obsessed with the pretty wife next door. The poor girl is unhappy in her marriage and her husband can't get it up for her. When the neighbor stumbles home blind drunk one night he reveals to our friendly garbage sniffer that he's a chemist working on an aphrodisiac and gives our hero a sample to try. Surprisingly for a Sato film, but similar to how Pleasant Masturbation: New Wife Chapter (快感ONANIE 新妻篇, 1993) shook out, this leads to a happy ending for everyone involved.

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Re: The Hisayasu Sato thread

Unread post by Guro Taku » 10 May 2019, 02:02

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Wife's Perverted Beauty Salon (人妻変態美容師, 1994) is another minor entry into Sato's filmography that mostly coasts by on style. Kyoko Godai's screenplay isn't exactly complex, detailing the story of Marie, who got a beauty salon as an alimony payment in her recent divorce. Her marriage, as we learn in a flashback, failed because she's a nympho and her husband couldn't keep (it) up. So of course she uses the beauty salon as a front to fuck everybody who comes through the door, much to the dismay of her female assistant Reiko, who is in love with her. Much of the 60 minute runtime is devoted to Reiko's jealousy when Marie hooks up with a big-dicked sleazebag. Threesomes are explored but don't prove entirely satisfactory, so Reiko makes peace with her boss's need for dick and puts on a strap-on. Ultimately the beauty salon is turned into a venue for gangbangs, with a waiting line outside.

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Reiko being jealous. I was hoping she'd make use of those scissors and make the film more interesting but she doesn't.

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Kind of a nice shot, I thought. The film is stylish enough, with nice use of color throughout.

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Speaking of which, Wife's Perverted Beauty Salon came out in Japan on January 14th 1994. Schindler's List wasn't released until February 26th.

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I have no idea why smoke is blowing into the hotel room here but it looks cool.

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Re: The Hisayasu Sato thread

Unread post by Guro Taku » 11 May 2019, 01:11

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Wife in Mourning: Pubic-Shaved Rope Slave (喪服妻と縄 そっと剃って!) for once has title that fits what the film is about. It's another Sato/Godai collaboration, this time from 1993. The script is a bit more interesting than the one for Wife's Perverted Beauty Salon, since the viewer is kept in the dark for a while which of the seriously damaged characters is telling the truth and who isn't. Kazumi (Noriko Akikawa) is working as an escort and specializes in roleplay. One of her regular clients claims his wife killed herself because she couldn't deal with his sadistic tendencies. He thinks he's found a soulmate of sorts in Kazumi because she claims that she lost a baby four months into a pregnancy during an S&M session. That's not exactly the whole truth, though. The film isn't as visually interesting as Wife's Perverted Beauty Salon, however, so that balances things out.

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Re: The Hisayasu Sato thread

Unread post by HungFist » 11 May 2019, 15:51

I'll probably never end up seeing most of these films, but the reviews are much appreciated. Keep em coming!

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Re: The Hisayasu Sato thread

Unread post by Guro Taku » 12 May 2019, 21:31

HungFist wrote:
11 May 2019, 15:51
I'll probably never end up seeing most of these films, but the reviews are much appreciated.
I haven't really reviewed (m)any must-see Sato films in this thread so far. Office Lady Rape: Disgrace! (OL暴行汚す, 1986) is the closest to that kind of thing of the titles covered above. The rest is more for the already converted and the Sato completists.
HungFist wrote:
11 May 2019, 15:51
Keep em coming!
I fully intend to.

First, here's the long overdue picture quality comparison between the old Japanese DVD release (top) of Lolita Vibrator Torture (1987) from 2002 and Synapse/Impulse Picture's US DVD from 2019 (bottom):

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So yeah, this is clearly the same exact master that was first struck for the film's VHS release 32 years ago. Synapse encoded it anamorphically and with improved contrast and black levels. It's ugly (and I actually prefer the skin tones on the Japanese DVD) but it's still the best the film has yet looked on a home video format.

Of course, Synapse either opted out of putting any extras on their DVD or weren't granted access to them. A shame, to be sure, since the Japanese DVD is stacked with delicious goodies. After revisiting the film via the US DVD, I went for the Japanese disc and gave the commentary a spin. As mentioned above, it's with Sato, screenwriter Shiro Yumeno and actress Kiyomi Ito. It proved to be surprisingly easy to understand. Sato is really easy to follow. Yumeno speaks faster and sometimes strings sentences together, which makes him more difficult to follow. Ito doesn't talk much, unfortunately.

Things covered in the commentary include the true-crime inspirations for the film (a homicidal taxi driver in Korea, pesticide in school lunches in Japan), the old chestnut of art imitating life imitating art, how Sato initially met Kiyomi and her debut as a corpse in Yojiro Takita's High Noon Ripper (1984), getting the vibrator custom made for the film, the exact hight and age of all the principal actors and actresses - everyone involved was in their 20ies since, as they speculate, people like to finish college before the embark on a career, the fact that Kiyokmi Ito kept the photos made for the film and, by her own admission, likes to show them to people, the limitations of the schedule and the shoot, which was only 5 days, Sato's cameo appearance as a camerman at the end of the film...

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Lots of good stuff! It really answered pretty much all the questions I had about the film with the exception of who really does the music for Sato's films. I suspect it's either himself or one of his other principal contributors.

There's also a few amusing bits, like when they comment on Kiyomi Ito's looks 15 years on and Sato is like "Well, in terms of what's inside the head, there hasn't been any growth..." and Kiyomi goes "Huh? Who are you talking about?! Yourself or me?" :lol:

When they discuss the true-crime inspirations of the film and Shiro Yumeno mentions the Korean taxi driver Sato interrupts him and says that he already used the taxi driver story for an earlier film called Wife Collector (人妻コレクター, 1985), which was written by Shuji Kataoka. Yumeno gets kind of pissy and says "Back then I didn't have time to pay attention to your films!"

And a classic Sato-ism: "I think a camera is a weapon that changes the way we look at facts."

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The above shot got a great reaction from Sato: "Why are his socks yellow?! Who shot this?!" The context is that he spent a fair amount of time establishing that he was going for a monochromatic look with the film.

There is also a roughly 30 minute "Recording & Talk" featurette on the DVD that is about one third making of the commentary and then another 20 minutes of the three discussing their careers. Some great info here as well, as well as the amusing fact that Kiyomi Ito is apparently habitually late for any and all appointments.

As for Lolita Vibrator Torture (1987), which I hadn't seen in many years, I think it still holds up after all these years. It's sleazy and bleak but it has this recurring theme of Yumeno's scripts of a male psycho running into a cute girl who is not only his match but, quite possibly, even more fucked in the head than he is. So while it may initially seem like the film wallows in misogyny, the way it plays out could quite easily be read as a feminist statement. Or you can disregard all that and just enjoy it as a bit of exploitation cinema that hasn't lost any of its bite 30+ years after it was made.

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Re: The Hisayasu Sato thread

Unread post by Guro Taku » 19 May 2019, 09:09

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Guro Taku wrote:
12 May 2019, 21:31
And a classic Sato-ism: "I think a camera is a weapon that changes the way we look at facts."
Sato was speaking metaphorically here, of course, but a camera becomes a literal murder weapon in a Abnormal (アブノーマル 陰虐, 1988), a film he made a year after Lolita Vibrator Torture. This one was also written by Shiro Yumeno and had one of the highest budgets Sato ever worked with, topping the 1.500.000 yen he usually had at his disposal with 2.500.000 yen. I suspect this was due to the film's gore effects, since this is easily one of Sato's bloodiest works. The story is about body parts and VHS tapes with snuff clips on them turning up all over the city and a magazine reporter investigating the case. In the course of her investigation, she runs into a number of shady characters like an incestuous brother and sister couple and a filmmaker who alternately calls himself Cross and Spielberg-san! "What is a Spielberg?" is just one example of great dialogue in this film. The snuff tapes are eventually traced back to a production office called "Studio Omega" and it is revealed that the magazine reporter was actually attacked, raped and mutilated two years earlier, undergoing extensive cosmetic surgery and changing her job to track those responsible. As mentioned already, the murder weapon is literally a camera here, since the villain equipped it with a spring-loaded knife. "I have modified my camera but you have modified your own body with new flesh!", he says. And: "You have become your own sequel!" I think it is fairly obvious that Cronenberg's Videodrome (1983) must have been a huge influence on Yumeno's script.

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