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The Duke On Ju-On 2

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The Duke On Ju-On 2

A good ghost story is pretty much like a large erection, in that it’s annoying as fuck when you’re trying to get to sleep, but a hell of a lotta fun none the less.

I ain’t gonna bullshit you, folks, cause I just wouldn’t do that, not when it’s something as important as the follow up to one of the greatest horror films what any motherfucker ever made. Call me naive, but I’m just not the type of fella what would do such a thing.

This Ju-On 2 What Is Really The Fourth One is like the best erection you ever had.

That’s about as far as The Duke will take that particular simile. That metaphor’s just about fit for the old heave-ho right about now.

As far as The Duke is concerned, the best ghost stories are the ones that start and end within a few sentences. “A girl died in my house once and one night I woke up and saw her at the foot of my bed. I fucking shit myself is what I did.” That right there is the perfect spook-tale. I don’t wanna know that you were having trouble in your marriage, or that the girl whose ghost you seen had been a member of some fucking Freemason sect or some shit. I just want the event, plain and simple.

These filmmaking types, though. Man, they get it all the wrong in the world most times.

Most times they think you wanna know about a teenager is having problems with her boyfriend, and her parents are fucked off on account of a merger taking place at work or some such perfunctory dross. By the time we get to the girl at the foot of the bed, we’re half asleep, only to wake up in time for some overblown FX-laden climax of some kind.

What a load of arse-gas that is.

It’s like telling a joke when you’re drunk. A chicken crossing the road to get to the other side, now that’s funny. But a few pints later and suddenly that whole chicken crossing the road plot gets bloated like that motherfucker at the end of Akira. Suddenly the chicken’s got a backstory, and a wife at home, and there’s a reason for him crossing the road. I don’t want the damn life story of this motherfucking poultry, just get to the point, man.

Anyhow, point is, only twice in my pre-Ju-On existence have I had the profound pleasure of encountering two pieces of work what said fuck y’all to the marital strife and the FX and the blah blah blah.

The first was Ghostwatch, which since went on to win a placing in The Duke’s Scariest Films What You Ever Did See. Ghostwatch got it right, because what backstory there was, was freaky as all hell, and when the scary shit started happening, it happened via subliminal glimpses and disembodied wailing and so on.

The next one, strange as it may seem, was Three Men And A Baby. It wasn’t Tom Selleck’s moustache, although granted, that went someway to adding to the general sense of unease. Rather, it was the now-legendary “ghost shot”. In case you didn’t know, what happened is a kid died on set / got thrown out a window / shot himself in the face, and as a result, he pops up in the background of one scene, just behind the curtains as Ted Danson wanders across his living room with his mom.

When The Duke saw this, being only a child, you understand, he shat himself asunder. I cried and screamed. I still do, but this time it really does have to do with the facial hair.

Anyway, I had long since given up hope on ever experiencing this kind of sheer unadulterated terror ever again. I got my hopes raised, though, when a film came out by the name of Ring, what was supposedly the scariest thing what you ever did see. It was brilliant, no doubt about that, but The Duke remained uneasily at ease throughout. Ring 2 wasn’t scary either, in fact it was crud. Nor was The Spiral, the original sequel what was so shit they went ahead and pretended it never existed. Nor was Ring 0. You get the picture.

So one night I decided the thing to do was to give these Asians another chance, on account of the hoopla surrounding a TV Movie by the name of Ju-On : The Curse.

I almost cried with joy, and white-knuckle terror. But joy mostly.

These cats what made the Ju-On, they had got it right.

Ju-On wasn’t concerned with plot or narrative or any of that toss. Ju-On knew the score, as far as scaring The Duke was concerned. It took the form of a series of loosely-connected vignettes, all of which revolved around a house what was haunted, and all of which concluded with a truly bowl-disrupting freakathon.

Ju-On 2 arrived shortly after, but I’ve still to lay mine peepers upon it. From all accounts, it’s made up of no-less than 40 minutes of footage from the first one, with a bit of extra gumpf thrown in.

But fear not, because those enterprising Asians had the good sense to do a proper follow-up, by way of a theatrical version by the name of Ju-On : The Grudge. Again, this was sublime.

And so, this neat recap brings us up to this week’s episode – Ju-On 2.

I’m sorry folks, but The Duke is gonna have to make like Chris Morris and get gushing like there’s no tomorrow. This is utterly perfect.

I don’t know what to tell you, since every tiny plot detail is a surprise waiting to be uncovered by the prospective viewer. What I can tell you is that this has a slightly tighter grip on the old traditional narrative paradigm, and that it is easily the equal of its theatrical predecessor.

The sound design in this motherfucker is damn well amazing. Music is rarely used, with its place being occupied by a demented cacophony of screams, croaks, wailings and meowings.

Everything about it is unsettling. Folks sit staring at something, and we haven’t a clue what they’re staring at. Whatever it is, it’s fucking freaking me out, man, stop with the staring already. But no, they stare on. And we never find out what the hell was so interesting.

Honest to God, this is wonderful. And I didn’t even think I was gonna like it. The trailer seemed overblown, too showy. It seemed a world away from the subdued eeriness of the first features. I was wrong, though.

The fact is these films what go by the name of Ju-On are masterpieces.

There’s a Hollywood remake underway as we type, what has Sarah Michelle Gellar from Buffy Who Slays The Vampires in the starring role. The good news though is that it’s directed by Takashi Shimizu, none other than the motherfucker what did the originals. Plus, it’s being produced by Sam Raimi’s lot, and if he’s nothing else, Sam Raimi is a damn genius when it comes to the old horrors and so on.

See this, man. That’s all I can say. What the fuck more do you want, man? Sheesh. I’m just a normal guy, just like you, man. Give a guy a break, why don’t you.

If y’all wanna leave a scary story in the comments, I’d be very grateful. Go on. Freak The Duke. I dare you, I double-dare you motherfucker, say “what” one more time.

The Duke resides at Mondo Irlando.

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About The Duke

  • http://iamrighturpie.blogspot.com/ jadester

    coincidentally, someone on a forum i regularly visit has just posted about the greatness of these Ju-On films. Looks like i’m gonna have ta get me a piece o’ this action.

  • http://www.geocities.com/mondoirlando Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    Jadester, definately! Go for it! It can be quite confusing digging them out, since it seems to be four films with the same damn name. Ju-On The Curse 1 & 2 are the original TV movies. 1 is a masterpiece, 2 i havent seen yet, but hear its failry poor. Then there’s Ju-on : The Grudge 1& 2 which are the big-budget theatrical remakes. Again, these are both impeccable. Don’t know as to the availability of them on outside of japan (i got mine on region 3 off ebay), chances are they’ll probably wait until around the time that the remake is released in the US, either that or they’ll bury the originals altogether, so as we don’t go thinking they’re running out of ideas or anything.

  • Chris Kent

    Interesting stuff El Senor Duke.

    I have read that the Three Men and A Baby ghost is an urban legend, and that in fact the boy in the window is a potted plant or some such nonsense. A fun ghost story never-the-less. We should put together a post on urban legends related to movies/songs – two which come to mind:

    1. The screaming at the beginning of the song “Love Rollercoaster” by The Ohio Players is the screaming of a lady actually killed in the studio by an angry ex-lover.

    2. There’s a scene in Wizard of Oz where a crewman can be seen in the background (evidently on the yellow brick road to Oz) hanging from a tree. He had evidently committed suicide and was accidently filmed…..Those wacky old days of Hollywood!

    …and I am sure there are more…..

  • http://www.geocities.com/mondoirlando Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    Chris, yes, the urban legend post could be fun. A joint assignment? I think the 3 men thing was indeed revealed to be a cut-out of ted danson (he played an acotr in the movie if you remember – bit of a stretch if you ask me, but anyway – and the cut-out was a promotional item), but it still worked wonders on my young mind. Hadn’t heard the screaming one. that’s interesting for sure. There is of course the famous case of Snuff, otherwise known as shitty manson-cash in with tacked on “real killing2 at the end. Of course, the fact that it was blatantly fake didn’t do any harm to it’s box-office.

  • Chris Kent

    What’s the story behind Snuff? I have read about that before and some mullet was telling me about it one time online. It was supposed to be an actual murder but turns out it was fake, right?….Some way to promote the film in advance? Moviemakers claimed it was banned in every country except Idaho?

  • http://www.geocities.com/mondoirlando Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    Chris, my memory’s a wee bit rusty, but from what i can recall, snuff was released in 74. It was originally a very very poor film by the name of slaughter, made to cash in on the manson murders. what happened was it languished in the vaults until producing husband-and-wife team Robert and Robert Findlay bought the rights and re-edited it. What they did was, where the film would have at one time ran to credits and such and such, these enterprising types hacked off the last couple minutes and added the following sequence – basically, the camera pulls back and reveals the director yacking about how hot that last scene got him. He goes over to the actress, says how great this whole slaughter carry on is, and next thing you know, the director ties her down and cuts her in pieces, whilst the camera lingers on and so on. There are a very give-aways to the ahem dubious nature of the authenticity claims. Like the acting for one thing. And the effects. Oh well, they marketed the hell out of it. As this was the birth of the snuff film craze, especially heightened in New York. this was released with the uber-tagline – “the film that could only be made in south america – where life is cheap!” It’s certainly an incredibly interesting tale, and i’m not quite sure what it says about the cinema going public who were queing around the bloke to pay to see a woman being killed. the fact that it was obviously fake doesnt really matter at this point. These folks, for all they knew, were going to see an actual murder.
    Anyway, it fell to an arse and dissapeared when word go out that not only was the killing fake, but also tied to 90-odd minutes of cack. I don’t know about the legal situation (although as far as i know it is still denied a certificate here in the UK, and thus banned, but im guessing that will change), but i believe Anchor Bay or Blue Underground or one of those types have released it on DVD in america, complete with brown-paper-bag esque packaging and bootleg style disc complete with no menus or extras. Nice bit of inventive packaging.

  • http://www.geocities.com/mondoirlando Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    sorry, thats robert and ROBERTA lol

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    Neither of us saw it, and both of us hated it.

    That said, I’ll probably check out the Buffy, Slayer of the Vampyres version when it comes out on DVD, as long as it isn’t the version that horrid woman left on the video shelf in the deleted scene in the remake of Ringu.

  • http://www.geocities.com/mondoirlando Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    Yeah, Jim. i hear that video had something to do with paris hilton and tommy lee or some such. Much as i’d like to sell such a thing on the web-net, i guess i’d have to actually watch it.

  • Chris Kent

    Yeah, that’s the film. It’s supposed to be absolutely awful (as in crummy bad, rather than repulsive bad)…….Ironically the guy I was talking to was an expert on films based on/inspired by the Manson murders. He had a list of about 10-20 all released after those crimes/trials…..including “Snuff.” He had an encyclopedic knowledge of the worst shit imaginable…..which means I enjoyed talking with him immensely……Haven’t talked to the crony in almost a year, but he had a great website….I’ll track it down.

  • http://www.geocities.com/mondoirlando Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    chris, please do! maybe i can include it on my next Best Web-Sites Ever piece lol. I was gonna buy a book the other day about Manson movies. Charlies Family i think it was called. ended up spending too much on DVD’s tho.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    No, dude, it’s all about video taping yourself having sex, then having a friend switch the tape before you return it to the shop, and a week later you die, because you killed yourself.

    At least that’s how it happens in the Japanese version of “Trainspotting” — “Irawawinewelshizabiggit”

  • http://www.geocities.com/mondoirlando Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    man, that japanese version of trainspotting. what a ride that was. especially liked the scene (scndalously deleted in other territories) where renton climbs down the toilet and has a fight with some big motherfucking anime turds. Man. and then the bit where they beat the tourist up in the toilet, and he opens his fly and a fucking robotic penis comes out and eats their faces. Sweet holy hell. I thought the scene where Renton suffered water torture in a bid to escape The Smack was a bit much.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    You forgot about the Begbie anime sequence which was so horrific they had to not only destroy all the film and original work, plus exterminate the animators and their families with Godzilla.

  • http://www.geocities.com/mondoirlando Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    ah, the begbie anime sequence, inspired by the work of Brecht i believe. especially the bit where begbie says “speed fuckin racer ya cunt” and throws a penknife at some tamagotchi

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    Well, at least things turned out well for Begbie, since he got the lead role as the title character in “Tarantino Bukkake” which I understand is quite popular in Japan.

  • http://www.geocities.com/mondoirlando Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    this right here is off topic, but what the hell is the topic anyway? Anime trainspotting faeces fighting seems to be the way things have gone. (thanks jim. we really shouldn’t encourage one another), but what The Duke is doing right now is watching that episode from American Idol, the movie special with tarantino as guest judge. Obviously, that’s why i wanted to see it, but something interesting is happening, being that The Duke is really enjoying it. Now, anyone close to me knows that my love of pop idol knows no bounds, but i always thought the American version seemed a tad flat. maybe because there was no Ant or indeed Dec. Who the hell knows is the conclusion im getting at. But this right here, this episode is damn good. Really good. and i like tarnatino more again. Who’d a thunk it? i never disliked him, tho, but just think he’s a nice fella again, instead of that bloke what takes the takashi miike and the goddard and adds a few fucks and john travoltas. Good work, americans, even though it was a damn shame nobody picked Cannibal Holocaust as their favourite movie. I mean come on, two of these individuals at least had disney flicks as their fave, and not Return To Oz (although one indivdual chose The Wiz), or anything cool like that, but Lilo and motherfucking Stitch. What the hell gives, man. And who in the holy fuck would admit to Sister Act 2 being their fave film, on the most popular show what is on the telly, no less. I wanted to hear these Pepsi-fodder yacking about how I Spit On Your Grave made them follow your dreams. “It was the cutting the cock off that made me wanna follow my dreams and be a singer.”

  • http://www.geocities.com/mondoirlando Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    holy shit, man, are disney sponsoring american idol or some shit? that can be the only explanation. fave movies of these warblers – finding nemo X2, aladdin, lilo and stitch, plus dead poets society (released by touchstone, division of guess who) and sister act 2 (ditto) holy fuck, man. I knew there had to be a reason no one picked Vamyros Lesbos.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    I’ve never seen “… anything Idol”, and it has been a long time since I’ve watched “I Spit On Your Grave” (wasn’t there something with massacre by motorboat outboard engine?)

    However, if some pop tart on one of these contests said how they were inspired by the scene in Harry Crews’ “All We Need Of Hell” where the main character forces the guy who is screwing his wife to stand on his office desk, and while he squeezes his balls to crow like a rooster, that would be teevee worth watching. Or better yet, reinacted it.