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    Out for blood

    "Out" is a surprisingly good-natured black comedy about corpse mutilation by mistreated Japanese housewives.


    Yamamoto-san is a bad husband. In fact, "bad" doesn't even begin to do him justice — neither does "bastard" or "subhuman." He's much worse than that. So maybe we shouldn't be sad he's dead.

    Directed by: Hideyuki Hirayama.
    Written by: Natsuo Kirino.
    Cast: Mieko Harada, Shigeru Muroi, Naomi Nishida, Teruyuki Kagawa, Kanpei Hazama, Tomo Omoriminami, Noriko Sengoku, Mitsuko Baisho.
    In Japanese with English subtitles.
    Anthology Film Archives 32 Second Ave. (at Second Street) Fri., May 23, 2003, 8:30 p.m. Sun., May 25, 2003, 6:45 p.m.

    Asian Films Are Go! 2003
  • Overview
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  • Out

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  • Runaway Pistol
  • So Close
  • Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance

  • Previous years' festivals
  • When Korean Cinema Attacks! (2001)
  • Asian Films Are Go! (2002)

  • Official site
  • There's not much mystery about how it happened. His pregnant wife Yayoi strangled him in his sleep and then, with a mixture of shock and adrenaline, did her breathing exercises over his limp body to calm down.

    Collecting her thoughts, she cons her co-worker Masako into taking the body off her murderous hands.

    "A pregnant woman can't go lugging a corpse around. People would notice! It will be a lot less suspicious if you get rid of him." she tells her friend by cell phone at the food-processing plant. "Besides, you're so good with a carving knife."

    Soon, through a combination of sisterly togetherness, coercion and unlucky accidents, more of the food-plant crew gets roped into the project of cutting up the body like a piece of fish, and soon we have a diabolical little conspiracy where an innocent kaffeeklatsch used to be. Instead of just complaining about their rotten husbands, these women have started doing something about it.

    Of course, you can hardly have a gang without the mob getting a whiff of what you're up to, and soon the women are getting a kind of male attention that they never imagined — and it's not all bad. There's a yakuza hit man who's a little upset at having been ensnared in the women's little crime, but on the other hand, there are mobsters who might pay good money for experienced corpse-carvers.

    Curiously, this is not the first Japanese movie about women's liberation through murdering people. There was another called "Kao" ("Face"), which proved to be surprisingly and perhaps immorally delightful. "Out" is another cinematic blow for Japanese women, nearly as pleasing — a "Thelma and Louise" for the abused Japanese wife set.

    MAY 15, 2003

    Reader comments on Out:

  • vhs or dvd   from cayce, Aug 26, 2004
  • Re: vhs or dvd   from jamie, Nov 6, 2009
  • Re: vhs or dvd   from Curry, Nov 21, 2009
  • Re: vhs or dvd   from TinnToe, Nov 5, 2010

  • Post a comment on "Out"