If there's one thing I hate, it's a misleading description of a movie. Reading the synopsis for ISOLA on many of the sites it can be purchased on, one would discover that the film is about a "young girl with multiple personalities, whose 13th personality is a psycopathic monster that must be stopped." Sounds intriguing, doesn't it? Well, the title gained so much interest from yours truly that I hunted this film down for a half a year, until finally I was able to grab it at this past Chiller Theatre. What a fucking waste.
Taking place after the devastating earthquake that rocked the cities of Kobe and Osaka, ISOLA tells the story of a psychic woman that travels to the former city to aid in the recovery efforts. After creeping a bunch of people out because she can read their thoughts, the psychic runs into a young girl named Chihiro, who just happens to have Multiple Personality Disorder. (To give you an idea of how uncommon this psychological affliction is, one would be more likely to get struck by lightening TWICE than be correctly diagnosed with said disorder.) Our psychic quickly finds out that those who do wrong to Chihiro meet an untimely death, and it is believed that Chihiro's 13th personality, ISOLA, is to blame.
Doing a bit of investigative work (because that's what volunteer psychics do, right?) our heroine soon discovers that Chihiro's affliction arose from a car accident that claimed the lives of both her parents and caused her to have an "out of body" experience. Coincidentally, a scientist at the Kobe hospital was conducting research on "out of body" experiences the same time the earthquake occurred and died in an Isolation Tank whilst her spirit was roaming free. Have we figured out the "twist" in this film yet? You betcha! Not only has the blurb on the film mislead you to believe that ISOLA was a psychotic thriller, but you've also now been duped into watching yet another sub-par Japanese ghost flick!
Frustrated by this turning point in the film, I frantically searched my apartment for Allen Funt and the rest of the "Candid Camera" crew. But alas, this was not a cruel joke - merely a bad film that coaxes the buyer with promises of a decent plot, then takes a big shit on their lap with a horrible ghost story. So I was fucked again....time to get out the Flexall to rub on my sore ass. As I laid there ass-in-the-air on the couch, rubbing away at my cramped glute muscles, I reflected on yet another flaw in my purchase. For months, I have remained sober and yet I have never seen so blurry before.
Was this the film's method of mesmerizing the viewer and captivating their attention? Was I so hyptnotized by the "phenomenal" acting and storyline that my senses had dulled? Was the Flexall seeping into my ass so quickly that my brain was affected by its hot/cold action? I quickly hit the "input" button on my remote and the TV switched to WWE's Sunday Night Heat. The white trash Olympics were clear as day! Then it struck me...... this R2 disc was a Thailand import.
Now disgusted, I switched back to the movie to let the beast run its course. In addition to being subjected to an awful film, my ass was still naked and in full sight of my neighbor's back window. I was indeed the butt (no pun intended) of a great joke. Somewhere in Japan, director Mizutani Toshiyuki is clutching my $10 bill and laughing maniacally.
In addition to the extremely poor transfer of the film, the R2 Thai import had absolutely nothing to offer by way of extras. This is one of those "what you see is what you get" discs, and in my past experience I have learned that when a distributor opts out of extras, odds are the film isn't worth watching either. Unfortunately, I took the bullet on this one folks and found out the hard way - ISOLA is a complete waste of time! So learn from my mistakes - leave this film on the dealer's table at the next convention, and if you're gonna rub a muscle relaxer on your posterior, do check to make sure the curtains are not drawn and the blinds are shut.