EROTIC GHOST: SIREN R3 Hong Kong DVD Review, with Sora Aoi (a.k.a. Sola Aoi, Aoi Sora or Aoi Sola..)

Associate Editor, Features; Rotterdam, The Netherlands (@ardvark23)
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EROTIC GHOST: SIREN R3 Hong Kong DVD Review, with Sora Aoi (a.k.a. Sola Aoi, Aoi Sora or Aoi Sola..)
Call me a nerd, but statistics fascinate me. When I became a moderator-slash-contributor for ScreenAnarchy, like "Big Brother" I could see stats on the visitors of this site. Stuff like: how did they get here? What search engine did they use? What keyword brought them to ScreenAnarchy of all places?

And that last question is often answered with: Sora Aoi. Yes, believe it or not, every hour some of the people who are looking for clips and pics of Japanese porn star Sora Aoi arrive on this site. All because years ago Gom posted news about some movies she starr... eh... with her in them.

Most of these hopeful fans were sent to Gom's announcement for the movie "Erotic Ghost: Siren".
Well, such a steady trickle of visitors demands a reward of sorts. So here is, finally, a full review of the Hong-Kong R3 DVD.

Truth is, most people won't be seeing this film for the story about a gang of bank robbers who are one-by-one picked of by a possibly supernatural creature. Rather, they'll be hoping to see much of the titular Siren as played by...
Well, guess who.

More of Sora Aoi will be revealed after the break, including that one shot with the ScreenAnarchy logo (only now without the logo...).


The Story:

Yaguchi (Junichi Kawamoto) and his gang successfully rob a bank and escape with a van full of money to an abandoned goldmine in the middle of nowhere. There they'll have to lay low for a few days until they get contacted by friends who can smuggle them to safety.

But when they first pick up some food a girl (Sora Aoi) accidentally sees the contents of the van, upon which the gang decides to abduct and kill her. Not immediately of course: she's a cutie and it's going to be a long wait, so the gangsters want to have some fun with their unusually calm prisoner. Starting with a poker game to decide who gets to rape her first.

Little do they know that she may be a mythical she-ogre attracted by greed, and when the first dead victim is found the distrustful gangsters turn on each other rather than suspect their sultry catch...


The Movie:

"Erotic Ghost: Siren" starts with a naked Sora Aoi slowly rising out of the sea. Bam! Ten seconds into the film, and you already got what you paid for. That was quick! Question is, what to do with the other 75 minutes?

This is not the first pink I've reviewed here for ScreenAnarchy, but as always I'm baffled. The cast and crew seem hell-bent on showing that they're able to create a piece of art, a real horror thriller and an edgy action flick. It's like they thought they would only get a camera in their hands once in their lives, and want to prove to the rest of the world that they can do this.
But this is a softporn flick, oops, "erotic thriller", and once again the desire to make a supernatural horror hurts the eroticism, while the silly gropings and fumblings completely destroy what might have been a nice little gangster drama.

Director Satoshi Torao especially seems to hope this will reveal him to be the next Quentin Tarantino, borrowing copiously from "Reservoir Dogs" and making the gangster interactions the focus of the film. At times he gets close enough to wonder what would have happened if this had been a straight, normal, thriller. Using color filters, crazy camera angles and plenty of movie references, all tricks are used to keep the attention of the audience. The film even gets pretentious, with the gangsters openly discussing "Un Chien Andalou" (always dangerous, openly referring to movies that are better...). Unfortunately the end result is just not entertaining enough, which is a deadly failing in an exploitation flick.

A shame, because there are some glimpses of real competence to be seen. The hostage situation starts of as thrilling because you're wondering if all gangsters will agree to the planned rape-and-kill. A fight between two survivors later in the movie is surprisingly well staged, with good action, good camerawork, some nice twists and a suitably gruesome end. There is a valuable lesson on display about what NOT to do with a gun. And Junichi Kawamoto shows that he can carry a scene, provided he is not misused. After "Erotic Ghost: Siren" he secured himself some bit parts in better productions like Mamoru Oshii's "The Women of Fast Food", so he didn't kill his career with this film.

But these are only a few moments in a movie which fails to impress on all other fronts. Sure, Sora Aoi is in it and she's undeniably cute, but here she's given virtually nothing to do but stand in the corner and smile. And while she's playing a fearsome ogre she is just about the least menacing presence in the world. Seeing her reveal her famed assets and then having them groped on camera a few times is certainly entertaining in itself, but there is an awful lot of badly paced thriller surrounding it.


Conclusion:

As a horror movie it's laughably without any scares, as a "naughty" flick there is too little T&A on display (only one girl in the whole movie can be considered somewhat conservative in this genre), and as a gangster thriller it is below mediocre, although some moments are surprisingly good. Sorry, but only recommended if you're a hardcore fan of Sora Aoi. Which, by the way, should not be confused with "a fan of hardcore Sora Aoi", as this isn't one of THOSE movies.


On to the DVD:

"Erotic Ghost: Siren" has been released as an English-friendly Hong Kong region 3 NTSC disc. The video is heavily interlaced and tends to look somewhat murky, although the latter might be on purpose with all those green and blue filters being used. The original Japanese stereo track is the only one on the disc, and optional Chinese or English subtitles are included. These subs contain a fair number of errors, but nothing too serious (nothing near as bad as the back cover of the Amaray, which had me in stitches). All in all it won't win prices, but for this film it suffices I guess.

But lo-and-behold, there are some extras! First there is a "making of", which lasts all of 5 minutes. While short it actually manages to show behind-the-scene footage of all of Sora Aoi's nude scenes, which is interesting because this time there are no color filters in the way. Not only does that seem to make her more nude than in the actual film, but it shows how day-for-night shooting works, how fake rain can look fake if seen in full daylight, and how cold the water was in that opening shot. Seriously, you'll feel for poor Sora, when she leaves the water she is shaking so hard that she's unable to even hold a cup of tea!

Second there is not one, but (gasp) TWO trailers for "Erotic Ghost: Siren", each of which gives away most of the movie for free.

Trailers for "Love, Kill Kill" and "Tokyo Desire" are also included, the last trailer being so sharp that you realize how soft the image on the main feature was.

And that concludes this review. Back to my statistics, to see how many of you will visit this review.
Bwuhahahahaaa!!!
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BlackIrishBastardAugust 22, 2008 1:29 PM

I heart NSFW Twitch.

Ard VijnAugust 22, 2008 3:40 PM

For those interested, this is the blurb I mentioned on the back cover:

"Yaguchi succeeded 1.5 million dollar of bank robbery with fellows who he met a a race track. They start talking about the way they would use money while they are escaping. No one knows their real name and age. It's only the bonds the criminals but after the big success they were too elated. However, Yaguchi realized 1.5 million dollar isn't enough for them. Yumi who is delivering food saw them carrying money. Yaguchi tied her up and kidnapped. 2 days later, some guys start dying unnaturally after trying to impolitely touch Yumi. What is this naked girl's power?"

TheDougAugust 22, 2008 6:00 PM

Thanks for keeping us a "breast" of the situation!!!

curious_gregAugust 22, 2008 9:39 PM

Sora Aoi pops up on this site every other day or so:

http://black-bbs.com/cgi-bin/bbs/

This makes me want to watch 'the Blue Jean Monster' again or something with Kei Mizutani...

BtoFuAugust 23, 2008 1:23 AM

I've had this unsubbed for years. Sucked lol.

ColdNorwayAugust 23, 2008 4:12 AM

Most movies in the "erotic thriller" genre are bad,and sadly not in a "good" way.In fact the erotic content just ends up making them much worse,the jarring break of the flow of the story,due to inserted love scenes, just shatter all belief of a coherent story telling.Sometimes it seems like the "real" movie was made first,and then seeing the original cut the producers or the director find the movie too dry,so they say:hey why don`t we just insert some love scenes or nudity to spice things up every 15 minutes.The end result is suddenly seeing people making love just after having been chased by monsters or any evildoers....then wait for it...several slow panning close up shots of a boob being fondled......and then the chase is on for another 15 minutes.Just lame,thank Odin that sometimes they actually try to make the love scene location fit the rest of the movie set.But the action....queue nudity.... and then action again type of movie making is clearly not my cup of tea.Sure seeing naked chicks is nice in movies,but there is a time and place for everything.When the characters should be trying to figure out why they are being a target of violence,they end up naked instead,just a huge pile of human flesh.The survival instinct should overcome the instinct of procreation,but not in these movies.Being so dumb they deseve to be killed,most fitting time would while they are doing the deed.Oh well they died doing that they liked the most

I say let us get far away from the violence/monsters first,if there are more than two humans alive after the horror,THEN it`s time to get the freak on.

I`ve seen my share of Category 3 erotic movies from HK,and the one thing that annoys me the most is when the men has to rapidly slobber all over the whole body of the "victims" or reluctant girlfriends during the "lovemaking".It looks like the men either can`t get enough of licking the skin of Asian women,as if skin secretes some kind of crack-like substance.If this is the case I`ll sign up for some skin licking too.But most of the time it seems like they can`t make up their mind if they are going to eat the girls or really get it on.It`s just painful to watch,sure they are eager to enter the love tunnel,but come on it looks just so silly,it`s not very erotic I can tell you that.

And great ass on the chick from the front cover.