Another Heaven

  • 2000
  • 2 HR 11 MIN
  • NR

An offbeat Japanese crime/horror hybrid that starts out a routine serial killer picture and abruptly becomes an odd variation on THE HIDDEN (1987). Tough, old-time police inspector Tobitaga (Harada Yoshio) and his younger colleague, Inspector Manabu (Eguchi Yousuke), are called to a murder site, along with a small squad of Tokyo police officers. The male...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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An offbeat Japanese crime/horror hybrid that starts out a routine serial killer picture and abruptly becomes an odd variation on THE HIDDEN (1987). Tough, old-time police inspector Tobitaga (Harada Yoshio) and his younger colleague, Inspector Manabu (Eguchi Yousuke), are called to a murder site, along with a small squad of Tokyo police officers. The male victim lived alone, but there's dinner cooking and a lovely fresh flower arrangement on the table, suggesting that the killer may be a woman. The coroner, Dr. Akagi (Emoto Akira), soon discovers that the victim's brain is missing, and it doesn't take long for the horrified cops to realized what's bubbling on the stove top. After several additional murders, each as gruesome as the one before, Tobitaga and Manubu narrow their search to a college student named Chiduru (Okamoto Yukiko), who went missing from an art museum shortly before the killings began. But how could a young girl commit such horrendous crimes? Chiduru is caught in the act, and dies shortly after she's apprehended. An autopsy shows that her brain is shriveled and covered with lesions, and her actions are blamed on an undetected brain disease. The case is closed, but the killings continue: The sole survivor of Chiduru's final massacre, a young man named Kimura (Kashiwabara Takashi), takes up where she left off, going out of his way to taunt Inspector Manabu with his crimes. And Kimura isn't the only person obsessed with Manabu: A young woman he once arrested, Asako (Ichikawa Miwako), has developed a romantic fixation on him. No matter how many times Manabu tells her to go away, she comes to his apartment, follows him on the street and declares her unconditional love. Kimura's rampage continues, and when cornered by police he escapes over a wall no normal person could have cleared: Could these murderers somehow be driven by paranormal forces? Gory, perverse and occasionally just plain weird, this genre hybrid is solidly entertaining, if occasionally a little hard to follow.

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