The Wiseau Award: my personal award for a film that’s so bad it’s a masterpiece
SADAKO VS. KAYAKO
Aka a Ring/Grudge crossover.
Well, considering this is from Japan, it’s a crossover between Ringu and Ju-on.
Yes, there exists a cinematic death battle between these two evil ghost kids. And they even got Koji Suzuki (creator of Ringu) and Takashi Shimizu (creator of Ju-on) to write the script and Suzuki to direct. As Freddy Vs. Jason and Frankenstein meets the Wolfman have proven, horror crossovers have creative bankruptcy. And yet, they’re still glorious.
The plot centres on a professor obsessed with finding a certain video cassette. Of course, one of his students somehow comes across it and accidently watches the tape. Take a wild guess where this goes. And then there’s another teenage girl who moves into a house next to an abandoned house where a certain curse still lives. For no clear reason, she finds herself drawn to the house. Take a wild guess where this goes. The only one who can save them all is this Japanese John Constantine and his little blind psychic prodigy, who scheme to have the two demons go at it.
Like many horror franchises, these two franchises have descended into self-parody. The first films of each franchise are horror masterpieces. In an era when Hollywood horror was playing it safe, these films were groundbreaking for their bold decisions to do away with conventional horror rules, give the monsters no limitations and go for a more downbeat note. For a more in depth examination, I’d recommend an episode of Frame by Frame called How Japanese Horror SCARES Us!
But like a jump scare, the impact wears off the more time you use it. This film makes the mistake of trying to be create more impact with more EXTREME deaths. Look! We’re killing off kids. Oh, look! More main characters are dying! Can you believe how dark and edgy we are? I take this about as seriously as the bodacious, pop drinking, skateboard riding, neon wardrobed 90s Dudes corporate franchises try to pass off as “KEWWWWWWWWWL.”
They try to be more daring with killing off more innocent people, but the deaths are cartoonish and over the top they’re unintentionally hilarious. In one scene, the grudge kid pulls a man’s head so hard he actually stretches the neck like his victim’s Stretch Armstrong. Adding to the unintentional hilarity is the questionable decisions the plot makes. When a woman tries to escape the grudge house, her feet disappear. They don’t get chopped off. Her feet literally vanish out of nowhere. No rhyme or reason. Even for a horror films, these characters are so effing stupid, watching the tape despite being having friends who died from it.
This is The Room level of unintentional hilarity. Like Tommy Wiseau’s masterpiece, this film is filled with confused motivations, questionable shots and endless wtf moments. For those Wiseau fans who don’t mind watching a foreign language film, this one’s for you.