Movie Reviews
Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge at Fantasia 2008
By Al Kratina
July 15, 2008 - 20:44

Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge

2007, Japan
Director: Takuji Kitamura
Screenplay: Hirotoshi Kobayashi
Cast: Hayato Ichihara, Megumi Seki, Yosuke Asari
Producers: Suguru Matsumura, Kazuhiro Hirose, Akira Yamamoto
Distributor: Nikkatsu

Of course, there’s no way this film could ever live up to its title. Like Anaal Nathrakh’s I Wish I Could Vomit Blood On You People, it’s name creates high expectations that can never be satisfied, no matter how negatively happy the edge, or crimson the emesis.

But it comes surprisingly close. An elaborate, campy parable about dealing with grief, the film follows Yosuke, a student deeply affected by the death of his close friend. He meets Eri, a recently orphaned young woman. But while Yosuke internalizes his grief, swallowing it with a smile while competing with the idealized memory of his dead friend, Eri tries to stab hers to death with knives. And by ‘grief’, I do mean ‘moon giant with a chainsaw’.

So, clearly, the film doesn’t value subtlety as much as is does the perpetual threat of disembowelment. But that’s okay, because in the context of a teen angst dramedy, histrionics are par for the course. The leads are likable, the effects surprisingly good, and, once you surrender to the elaborately allegorical premise, Negatively Happy Chainsaw Edge is reasonably successful. Though not as effective as puking blood on you people.

Rating: 7/10

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