Thursday, August 28, 2008

Honourable Mentions: Death Trance


The 2005 film Death Trance was directed by Yûji Shimomura, who was the action director in stylish and stylised zombie flick Versus. Indeed the films share the main star – Tak Sakaguchi, this time playing a character named Grave, also known as coffin man.

The film is stylish, there is no doubt about that. Perhaps set in a post-apocalyptic future or perhaps set in an alternate world, what we get is something that looks like a period piece with gothic styled costuming and then a gun will appear or a dirt bike. Think along the messed up lines of She (1982) and you’re probably on the right track.

Tak Sakaguchi as GraveGrave has stolen a coffin from a monastery and everyone seems to want it. As he drags it through the lands, followed by a mysterious girl (Honoka Asada), he is tracked by a monk from the monastery who has vowed to return it. He is also dogged by a mysterious woman who seems to know more than she is letting on.

Kentaro Seagal as SidThe other main protagonist is Sid (Kentaro Seagal), who wants the coffin for himself. Why? It is said that the coffin will grant a wish to the person who opens it (Sid wants to bring back his daughter). Grave seems to want to find and face the greatest warrior. The monk knows the story to be false. The coffin contains the Goddess of Destruction (Yôko Fujita) and opening it signals the end of the world.

vampire dropsAs for the vampires? Well, they are in it briefly, for all of a couple of minutes really and it is debatable as to whether they are vampires. If they had been a major part of the film I think I might have explored this under ‘Vamp or Not?’, but the appearance is so brief I plumped for this honourable mention.

looks like a vampire to meThey appear in part of the forest that is weaved with ribbon, as though it is spider web and the two creatures are rather spider like – indeed they come together at one point and as such seem to have eight limbs. They have captured Sid, binding him in rope and ribbon as though cocooned by a spider.

biting GraveGrave appears and fights them. Eventually they overcome him and both bite, one on either side of his neck. This is, of course, a very vampiric form of attack. He defeats them by actually biting back – after his eyes glow red, which is part of an awakening to do with a more plot centric aspect of the film.

fang marks in neckAre they vampires? They look like vampires, they have fangs, they bite necks. They share some qualities with spiders also. They leave Grave with wicked looking fang marks in his neck, for the remainder of the film. So, are they vampires? I honestly don’t know but they look the part enough to give a mention.

The imdb page is here.

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