Fantasia : Stop the Bitch Campaign (I and II) and Night Watch

Shot on video with a non-existing budget, both Stop the Bitch Campaign shorts are japanese sexploitation flicks. The acting is suprisingly good for a movie of this genre, especially the crazed mysoginic Kenichi Endo and his sidekick (in the second episode). There is a hilarious scene where Kenichi explains to his sidekick why having sex with prostitutes and running away without paying is actually doing a service to Japan. That aside, this movie is extremely violent and the plot is ridiculous. Victims of some of the long and extreme torture scenes are either completely innocent or the wrong target of revenge. As the movie progresses you can either get up and walk away (as many did) or just become desensitized to all this mostly gratuitous violence. I'd give it 3/10 as one of the most disgusting, pointless, ridiculous excuse for a movie I've ever seen, but there's Aoi Sora naked and having sex in this one so 10/10.

With a budget of 4 million dollars, you'd expect Night Watch's special effects to be cheesy, at best. A hollywood producer with a similar budget wouldn't be able to make a 5 minutes short, much less a 2 hours special effects extravaganza. Director Timur Bekmambetov succeeds at making this low budget feature feel like a multi-million dollars hollywood film. However, that is the only saving grace of this movie. It all feels rather familiar : stock vampires (known as Dark Others) square off against equally generic shapeshifters (known as Light Others) in something that could've been lifted straight out of Underworld or Blade. The characters are bland, uninspired and have a feeling of interchangeability. The plot is confused and lacks focus, the death metal soundtrack is mostly irritating and the uselessly stylish subtitles are hard to follow. I had high hopes for this one, but it turned out to be this year's biggest disappointment. 5/10.

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