Japanese horror has provided us with some memorable flicks over the years, with their slick storylines and sombre mood outweighing the need for costly special effects.

Sadly, Tomie: Unlimited is not one of them – unless you are a fan of laughable dialogue, woeful CGI, a dodgy soundtrack and an overall package that is far likely to inspire guffaws than scares.

The latest offering in an ongoing film series inspired by a manga creation, Tomie is a high-school girl who is the embodiment of lust, and, supposedly, the ‘ultimate self-destructive entity’.

Basically, if you kill her she will come back, maybe even in a different form.

Apparently every bloke who comes across her simply has to possess her, to the extent that they will even kill her (or try to) to do so.

And this is a stumbling block right from the start, as despite the sleeve notes describing Tomie as ‘breathtakingly beautiful’, the actress playing her is most definitely not.

This is not a slight on Miu Nakamura (her performance is a rare highlight in the film) but if the intention is to create a character that every man wants, then at least cast somebody who would turn heads.

Anyways, the film starts off solidly enough, with Tomie and sister Tsukiko (Moe Arai) on their way home from school.

Disaster strikes though when Tomie is impaled by a falling piece of scaffolding (think Patrick Troughton’s demise in The Omen – a virtual carbon copy).

A year on and everybody is coming to terms with her death, only for Tomie to turn up at the family home on what would have been her 18th birthday.

Despite their incredulity they welcome her with open arms – and the carnage starts.

Soon people are dropping like flies as they are lured to their deaths by Tomie.

And this is where things get progressively silly as despite their best efforts nobody can kill her, with Tomie returning as a waste basket creature when she is beheaded, a human-faced centipede and more ridiculous incarnations.

It is up to Tsukiko to try and put a stop to this, leading to a comical showdown at the conclusion.

Directed by Noboru Iguchi, who has presented the world with fare such as The Machine Girl and RoboGeisha, people who check this out may well know what they are letting themselves in for.

And, with the DVD’s running time being 85 minutes, compared to a 103-minute version that was supposedly shown at a festival last year, there may be a very different edit out there somewhere.

I should also point out that I have not seen all of the Tomie films (eight no less), so again I may be misreading the intentions of the project.

I really wanted to like this, but when you are constantly bombarded with plot shifts and images that have you scratching your head and muttering WTF, it is pretty hard to recommend.

 Extras: Trailer, Interview with Noboru Iguchi 

Released on January 23

 

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.