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Gusher No Binds Me

Hellevator
Gusha no Bindume / The Bottled Fools

Japan 2004
produced by
Only Hearts Co Ltd, WEVCO, Nexstar
directed by Hiroki Yamaguchi
starring Luchino Fujisaki, Yoshiichi Kawada, Ryosuke Koshiba, Kae Minami, Yuuka Nakabo, Ikuma Saisho, Yuuna Sotohara, Toshiko Sunamura, Yuuko Takarada, Masato Tsujioka, Hisashi Ueno, Keisuke Urushizaki, Takahiko Watanabe, Koji Yokokawa
written by Hiroki Yamaguchi

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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17-year olf Luchino (Luchino Fujisaki) lives in an underground world that goes so deep beneath the surface that elevators are the most common means of travelling, a world that is totally controlled by the Surveillance Bureau that has cameras posted everywhere & shows zero tolerance towards trespassers, so when she carelessly throws away a cigarette butt, it's a felony on 2 accounts: First she is not old enough to smoke, & second the butt accidently caused an explosion ...

Luchino however knows nothing about the explosion & heads for the next elevator to go to school ... but then the Security Bureau has the splendid idea to use that elevator cabin for a convicts transport, which maybe wouldn't be that bad wouldn't they take the convicts to their execution & wouldn't they - having nothing tzop lose - make every attempt to breat out ... eventually they bring the lift to a halt, kill their guard, break free of their chains, & prepare to rape the female passengers ... only Luchino keeps a cool head, eventually gets her hands on the guard's gun & shoots one of the convicts ... it's only then that she tips over, mainly because it brings up memories of her killing her abusive father in self defense 3 years ago. For some reason though the other passengers are not too grateful about what she did, mainly because she's a tad weird, & when eventually, co-passenger Sawatsukumori (Ikuma Saisho) kills the other convict in a frenzy, he tries to either blame the killing on Luchino or buy false testimonies from everyone that he didn't do it (as this would be considered brutal murder regardless of the circumstances). To not being caught, Sawatsukumori even smashes the communications system, making the situation of all the passengers even more desperate.

Soon all the passengers start acting weird, & Luchino, who has telepathic abilities, starts reading their minds, & learns for example that the woman with her babycart has actually killed her baby some time ago but keeps collecting child support, that the headphone-wearing teenager is actually a spy for the Surveillance Bureau, after yet another passenger, Sawatsukumori, who is a microbiologist  wanting to sell bacteriological weapons to a terrorist organisation. The headhone wearing kid, who also has telepathic abilities, even convinces Luchino that Sawatsukumori is about to release some deadly virus right now, & she kills him in self defense ... only to then find out that what she thought was the deadly virus was actually a container containing Sawatsukumori's heartpills. Surveillance Bureau enters the cabin only moments later, & they arrest her, even if that means killing more passengers ...

Later, in an examination of the case, the headphone kid denies having telepathic poswers, having told her anything via thought transmission or that such thing exists at all. & the suppoosedly dead baby of the woman seems to be pretty much alive ... so it might be that Luchino is plainly mad - & as a result of this, she is convicted & about to be executed, which in this underground world means being taken to the surface by elevator, where she ahs to fend for herself ... & the elevator leads to contemporary Tokyo.

 

The most remarkable thing about this movie is probably that it is able to create a whole totalitarian world, while being confined mostly to the space of an elevator cabin (that is very much a vital part of that world though), where all the passengers tend to react abnormally (as people in elevators often do). However, director Hiroki Yamaguchi does not restrict himself to creating this world & preach about it, but incorporates it into a suspenseful story that is full of unusual twists & turns, & in the end questions large parts of the story , leaving them open for (re-)interpretation ... which he does without being pretentious. In all, it's great & unusual science fiction entertainment.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Your Bones to

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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Out now from
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On the same day
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

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directed by
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written by
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