Sunday, May 17, 2009

Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl

Shark Skin Man & Peach Hip Girl

Written & Directed by Katsuhito Ishii

Tadanobu Asano .... Kuroo Samehada
Ittoku Kishibe .... Tanuki
Sie Kohinata .... Toshiko Momojiri
Kimie Shingyoji .... Mitsuko Fukuda
Susumu Terajima .... Sawada
Koh Takasugi .... Sorimachi


Toshiko is a shy and bookish employee of the Hotel Symphonia in Japan. Her manager is obsessed with her and her life is going nowhere, so she decides to just jump in her Jeep and run away from it all. While on the road she stumbles across a man running through the woods in his skivvies and offers him a ride. His name is Samehada and he's on the run from the mob because of a large sum of stolen money. Toshiko, hungry for excitement of any kind, leaps into a relationship with the fugitive and joins him on the lam.
As can be expected, the cast of characters are colorful and wonderfully eclectic: a homosexual hitman who falls in love with his target, a flamboyant paper-tripper who comes across as a Elvis Presley-Vidal Sassoon hybrid, and a mobster with a superhuman sense of smell who can sniff out “shampoo, wash and a woman on the rag” from 100 yards away, for example. Unfortunately, most of these characters don't flesh themselves out beyond their peculiarities and so remain archetypal and unbelievable.
This film was shot in the wake of the Pulp Fiction craze and its influence seems painfully obviously in some of the directorial style and conversations of pop culture minutiae (just substitute Big Mac's and Beatles with Yoga and vintage poster collecting.) The references don't hold up, at least not outside of its native Japan.

With a name like Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl, you're really expecting something great right off the bat, but after the rocking opening credits get you all jazzed up there's not much substance beneath the surface. It's just a mediocre crime movie with a few choice scenes that couldn't live up to its own standards.

BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR: Cartoon credits; Zippo trickster; Seizure and a slap; Back breaking bastard;

View the intro below!


1998
Rated R
108 minutes
Color
Japan
Japanese (with English subtitles)

Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl is currently ranked #72,776 in DVD's at Amazon.com. Read more about it at the IMDB, rent it at Netflix, or buy it today!

--J/Metro

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