‘Karaoke Terror’: Off-Key Killing Spree

Love It Before I See It Dept.

While The New Horror Handbook covers a wide range of horror films from the US and Canada to Australia and beyond, I have to admit I have a particular soft spot for East Asian horror films -- those of Japanese origin in particular. One of the reasons for this is the sheer insanity that finds itself thrown before the camera lens in that country, especially since the virtual collapse of the studio system some years ago. Sure, there are dozens of movies marketed Stateside as those that "break all the rules" and are "madcap," but pleeease...

At the top of the "must see" list around these New Horror haunts is the 2003 WTF film Karaoke Terror: The Complete Japanese Showa Songbook (Showa kayo daizenshu), which received its official US DVD release back at the end of April.

Based on a literary work of Ryu Murakami (author of the novel upon which Audition is based), the movie stars Masanobu Ando (the stone-cold killer Kiriyama in Battle Royale) and Yoshio Harada (Another Heaven), and follows a gang war between young boys and middle-age women, both groups obsessive patrons of Japan's karaoke bars.

The plot, as often is the case with Japanese films of this stripe, is of no importance. Check out the clip above to see what has your's truly so stoked to see this spectacle.


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