If you are a regular ScreenAnarchy reader, the name Noboru Iguchi should be quite familiar to you. As you'd probably know / recall, he is the writer-director who gained international fame with his 2008 film The Machine Girl, and since then has gone on to make films such as RoboGeisha (2009) and Mutant Girls Squad (2010). Last year was a particularly busy year for him, with the release of three films that he directed: Karate-Robo Zaborgar, Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead and the subject of this review - Tomie: Unlimited. If you have seen any of Iguchi's films, you will know the trademark style in all his movies, i.e. over-the-top gore and bloodiness, and Tomie: Unlimited is no exception.
Tomie: Unlimited is based on a popular manga (Japanese comic). It tells the story of 2 sisters, Tomie (Miu Nakamura) and Tsukiko (Moe Arai). Tomie is the more popular sibling, but she gets killed in an accident. After Tsukiko witnesses her sister's gruesome death, she is badly traumatized and starts having terrifying nightmares. Then those nightmares become real when Tomie returns on what would have been her 18th birthday.
After Tomie's reappearance, the story starts to get more confusing, but Iguchi is clearly not intending to win fans with brilliant narrative here. In fact, there is little coherence and the plots do not really come together. So if you are after a film with a strong story that ties all the elements tightly, Tomie: Unlimited may leave you very disappointed, unless you have some prior knowledge of the story from either the original manga or previous installments in this Japanese horror franchise. The acting, by comparison, is decent. Moe Arai as Tsukiko is particularly good with her portrayal of a young girl who is seriously disturbed.
What is ultimately going to determine how much you like (or dislike) this film are the over-the-top bloody and gory visual effects. The whole film is nightmarish, insane and shocking. The special effects are really quite outrageous, but if you like Iguchi's films, you definitely will not mind seeing those scenes where gallons of fake blood are spilled, splashed and sprayed everywhere. The quality of some of those effects do reflect the relatively low budget Iguchi had to work with, but overall there is little doubt the special effects are the strongest selling points of this film.
Tomie: Unlimited is saturated with blood and gore for its slim running time of 85 minutes. It is perhaps more bloody than scary, but should give those who enjoy films by Noboru Iguchi or bloody movies in general a good time.
Tomie: Unlimited is distributed in Australia by Monster Pictures, and is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.