Rampo (film)

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Rampo
Directed by Rintaro Mayuzumi
Kazuyoshi Okuyama
Written by Yuhei Enoki
Kazuyoshi Okuyama
Starring Masahiro Motoki
Naoto Takenaka
Michiko Hada
Music by Akira Senju
Cinematography Yasushi Sasakibara
Distributed by The Samuel Goldwyn Company (USA)
Release date
1994
May 19, 1995 (USA)
Running time
100 min.
Language Japanese

Rampo (らんぽ, Ranpo?) is a 1994 Japanese movie. It is based on the stories of Edogawa Rampo.

Plot summary[edit]

In an animated introduction a man hides in a nagamochi while playing hide and seek with neighboring children, but he is locked in and can hardly breathe. When his wife comes home he manages to make a noise and she opens the lid to the trunk, and instead shuts it again. We now then enter a live action world where Poe-inspired mystery writer Edogawa Rampo (Naoto Takenaka) has written a book about a woman who has killed her husband by locking him in a nagamochi. The book is banned by the government who claim the work to be too disturbing. He is asked to burn his manuscript. However, after burning his paper drafts, his publisher shows him a newspaper story with an account of events just like his forbidden story. After spying on the woman concerned, who is labeled as a murderer, he decides to visit her store. Shizuko (Michiko Hada) offers him her own music box for free as he has showed interest in it. He later stalks her to a shrine where he admits following her and she asks him to go away. She later asks him to meet her at the shrine. She's sorry and has read his book and was impressed while he again excuses for his stalking behaviour. She is then picked up by a taxi and he avidly follows her with another taxi.
Here his younger literary alter ego Kogoro Akechi (Masahiro Motoki) picks up the story. Akechi finds out Shizuko has an affair with a duke in a Dracula-like castle located at the sea on a cliff. He decides to pay this duke a secret visit by "experimenting" with parachute jumping. He lands in a pack of biting hunting dogs the duke directs at him. The duke sucks out his arm wound and then invites him home to treat the wound. They have dinner together and here he sees Shizuko serving him an aphrodisiac. Akeshi observes the duke while he's horse-riding, cross-dressing and smearing his facial make up all over her naked back and projecting a stag film on her body. During an evening party he frightens the guests with a recital of a text of Poe - accompanied with images of war: the film gets stuck at the end of the text, burning the film depicting the face of a corpse. The next day he follows with another piece of "entertainment" by committing suicide with his white horse, running off the cliff.
Edogawa Rampo returns to the story as he finds out about the castle and tries to enter the room where Akeshi is willingly - he needs no instructions from his writer - entering the nagamochi Shizuko has opened from him. As Rampo navigates through the castle the layers of fantasy and reality start to merge into one cosmic flashback occurring before and after he gets into the room where Shizuko commits suicide before Akeshi can get out of the nagamochi. Rampo holds Shizuko in his arms.

Video game adaptation[edit]

A video game based on the film was released for Sega Saturn in 1995.

On release, Famicom Tsūshin scored the game a 26 out of 40,[1] giving it a 7 out of 10 in their Reader Cross Review.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ NEW GAMES CROSS REVIEW: RAMPO. Weekly Famicom Tsūshin. No.324. Pg.43. 3 March 1995.
  2. ^ 読者 クロスレビュー: RAMPO. Weekly Famicom Tsūshin. No.341. Pg.32. 30 June 1995.

External links[edit]