a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Monsters Club / モンスターズクラブ

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After Toshiaki Toyoda’s abysmal stoner slog of a couple of years ago, The Blood of Rebirth, expectations were low for Monsters Club, but what return to form it turned out to be. Starring big-eared heartthrob Eita, as a Ted Kaczynski-like hermit, living in a snowy Hallmark beautiful woods, sending letter bombs to the rich and powerful, Monsters Club is a striking parable fit for the complexities and anxieties of the 21st century. The anarco-primitivist screeds of Kaczynski pepper the opening soundtrack of the film. Knee-jerk critics have suggested that Toyoda supports these ideas, but as the film progresses, the madness behind them is literalized in the dead coming back to life to torment Eita and his ever tenuous handle on sanity. By the denouement, with Eita coming to Tokyo burdened with explosives, Monsters Club unleashes an ever-building emotional wallop. It’s a film that’s not perfect, but walks the high wire, bringing a mix of elements – the poetry of Kenji Miyazawa, performance artist Pyuupiru and a whole lot more – pulling it off terrifying and beautiful brilliance.

Originally published in EL Magazine, April 2012.


Written by Nicholas Vroman

April 3, 2012 at 11:17 am

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