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Survive Style 5+

Japan 2004
produced by
Ryoichi Fukuyama, Hiroyuki Taniguchi for Tohokushinsha Film
directed by Gen Sekuguchi
starring Tadanobu Asano, Shihori Kanjiya, Kyoko Koizumi, Hiroshi Abe, Vinnie Jones, Yumi Asou, Reika Hashimoto, YosiYosi Arakawa, Sonny Chiba, Jai West, Yoshiyuki Morishita, Kanji Tsuda, Tomokazu Miura, Ittoku Kishibe, Rinko Kikuchi
screenplay by Taku Tada, music by James Shimoji

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Yoko (Kyoko Koizumi) is a self-centered commercial executive who is so convinced that she is ingenious that she doesn't even notice that noone but her, not even her boss (Sonny Chiba), finds her ads funny. Eventually she will lose her notepad in which she has put down notes for future commercials, and all of a sudden feel totally lost without it - and at Christmas, too. But before that she hires a killer from England (Vinnie Jones), complete with his own interpreter (Yosiyosi Arakawa), to shoot a stage hypnotist (Hiroshi Abe) - for whatever reason.

The killer shoots the hypnotist, right on stage, but unfotunately while Kobayashi (Ittoku Kishibe), a loving famila man, is still under hypnosis believing he's a bird ... and what's worse, nobody manages to get him out of his hypnosis - and slowly but surely, his family has to come to terms with the fact that he might remain a bird for the rest of his life and might throw himself off the roof because he believes he can fly every now and again ...

Aman (Tadanobu Asano) kills his wife (Yumi Asou) - every night - but she just refuses to stay dead, and every morning she is back among the living and makes his life a living hell. Eventually, Aman hires the English killer, but event hough he kills her but good, the wife continues to reappear every day. Eventually though, one of her incarnation shows a tender side, and Aman refrains from killing her, instead falling in love with her all over again.

It's Christmas, and the killer (for whatever reason) comes by Aman's house to bid him farewell and bring him a Chistmas present ... then though he sees Aman's wife and out of professional pride he kills her even though Aman has asked him not to. Thing is, this time the woman stays dead, much to Aman's dismay, who will ultimately throw hismelf off the roof of a building ... but will be caught in mid-flight by Kobayashi, who has finally learned how to fly.

A last story concerns a trio of burglars who eventually come to terms with being gay ...


This film actually comprises five stories intertwined into one, with at least two of them (the unsuccessful wifekiller and the father turned into a bird) being close to ingenious. However, the finished film as such is less so, because some of the stories are decidedly less than great (especially the gay burglars and the commercial executive) while the great stories are never exploited to their full potential - and somehow, the five stories do not work too well together. That said, Survive Style 5+ is still a well made, entertaining and at times incredibly funny movie, it just could have done with maybe two stories less and the remaining stories extended - a pity the film just wasn't like that.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD