Getting in on the Fantasia action later than I would have liked this year, and for reason, I kicked it off with what could possibly be my oddest movie choice to date. All I knew of it was the short descriptive blurb in the program, and paired with the colourful photo it presented, I thought it would be cheesy, light-hearted fun.

In all honesty, I haven’t completely processed what it was that I watched yesterday afternoon. I’m not certain I ever will either. With this dreamlike confusion bubbling in my brain, I googled the film. Now, I understand. Kind of.

In 1985, Haruo Chicada, a musician/TV personality, wrote a soundtrack to a musical that did not exist. Enter Macoto Tezka, a 22 year old film student with a penchant for experimental shorts, who says “Let’s make this into a real movie”. Somehow this nobody kid manages to book famous manga personalities, directors, and actor/musicians, gets a big-ass budget, and makes this happen. I read in this article that despite having all the ingredients needed to make a cult film, no one has ever heard of it. Including in Japan.

Without knowing all of this, my experience watching this movie was a bit surreal. I can’t say I disliked it. I certainly appreciated several aspects of it, certain scenes, and some of the artistry displayed in the madness. I also can’t say I completely enjoyed it, sadly. I feel it over all missed the opportunity to make the characters relatable, or even likeable. I suspect it’s why no one has ever heard of it. But I’m… glad? That I saw it? I think?

 

So here you have a slap-dash story presented in a series of musical numbers, with a few awkward scenes in between. The musical numbers themselves were the more interesting parts, at least to me. Some of them were so outrageous and made absolutely no sense for the story. Like… where did the zombies come from? The one rival musician they have out of nowhere starts looking like a vampire, only to then appear completely normal in the next frame.

It’s quite possible that the entire point of this film has passed me by. It felt very much like a disjointed dream, that you struggle to piece together the morning after. I supposed that if you can appreciate that, this is the film for you haha!

 

 

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