From the V-Cinema Vault: Daikanyama Horror

Daikanyama Horror (1987)
Directed by: Ishii Teruyoshi
Written by: Nozawa Hisashi
Starring: Gastunk, Dr. Dead & the Splatter Allstars

Daikanyama, one of Tokyo’s hippest neighborhoods. By day the streets are filled with boutique-hopping fashionistas and upper class families out for brunch. But during the night of a full moon, these same streets run red with the blood of aspiring pop idols.

If you want to be recognized at Paradise Talent School it takes more than fast footwork and a cute face. The director promises to make a star of any girl who can find the enigmatic Eaten House, hidden somewhere in Daikanyama, between sunset and sunrise. “The industry chews up girls and spits them out,” he warns as he licks his lips. If only they listened.

See seminal punk band Gastunk claim our first victim in the clip above. They rock the poor thing so hard that she vomits up blood. It wouldn't be a horror movie if someone didn't get their entrails torn out and eaten.

Gastunk provide the soundtrack for any scene where someone is murdered or maimed. The movie feels like an extended music video for your buddy's band that you shot over the weekend on a camera borrowed from someone's uncle. The biggest expense was the fog machine rental, and it was worth every penny.

Freddy and Jason cosplayers appear from the shadows to menace a second girl. Just as she's about to get away she stops to save a crying baby who turns out to be a spear-wielding midget in disguise. I'm as surprised as she was.

Our last survivor goes on the offensive and guns down the members of Dr. Dead & the Undead Allstars, a band of cool ghouls that play schmaltzy malt shop numbers. As far as I can tell from back issues of Starlog magazine, some ad exec dreamed up Dr. Dead and co. as a promotional team that would perform horror movie theme songs at special screenings. If anyone has footage, please come forward. 

Terrified and out of ammo, our heroine makes it back to the dance school. But she’s not out of the woods yet. The director congratulates her for reaching the goal--the school IS Eaten House. His spiel about chewing up girls and spitting them out? He meant it literally. "Eaten," as in "prepare to be eaten." The writing was on the wall. If only she knew how to read English.

Is Daikanyama Horror a scathing social commentary on how the idol industry commodifies young girls?  Or a jab at the failings of English language education in Japan? Oh, who am I kidding. It’s a silly little horror movie. You shouldn’t read too much into it. Tee-hee!