Having screened at the excellent 'Dead by Dawn' festival, I really had to chase this one down on DVD for the collection. Would the disc deliver the goods in this latest in a long line of cool Hong Kong horror entertainment...
Higuchinsky's 'Uzumaki' (or 'Vortex' as it probably should be known) is the highly bizarre and creepy tale of a small village and its inhabitants whom are slowly consumed by an obsession for the whirlpool shape of a vortex. As their obsession grows they are totally consumed by fear and horror which leads to devasting results.
Style and atmosphere is the order of the day here in this very discomforting creepy classic. Whilst the first half of the film truly is the celluloid equivalent of a dark interpretation of a Manga comic, the film soons turns on its head to become a highly visual bizarre experience that David Lynch would no doubt get a lot of pleasure from.
Whilst the performance from the cast throughout is solidly reasonable and the plot is pretty simple also, its Higuchinsky's excellent direction that keep this gem rolling throughout. There's a lot of visual eye candy throughout and when the latter half of the film kicks in you'll feel the hairs stand on the back of your neck with this tasty piece of Asian cinema.
The disc from Universe is of their usual high standard, albeit quite sparse on the ground when it comes to extras. The letterbox image is sharp throughout (which really shows off some of the lovely visuals) and the stereo audio is clear enough not to disapoint also. Pretty much the high quality that we got with their excellent 'Audition' disc also. There are optional subtitles in English and Chinese which are not as bad as your usual ropey subs that we get. But apart from a cool teaser trailer for the film there's nothing else hear to get you going.
Not a problem though, as both the film and the disc print more than make up for any other missed oportunities. Whilst maybe not to everyones taste (high on style and low on gore), 'Uzumaki' is well worth checking out and Universe's disc is a great way to do it. Dim the lights and prepare to feel uneasy!
|Directed by Higunchinsky|
|Released by Universe|
|Region '3' NTSC - Rated Cat IIB|
|Ratio - Letterbox|
|Audio - Stereo (Japanese)|
|Subtitles - English, Chinese|