Tokyo Vampire Hotel ★★★★

ChiFilmFest 2017: Festival cut of Sion Sono's Amazon series released last June. Really hope this is ported over to North America. The festival cut condenses 10 episodes down to 142 minutes and it shows. Backstories and character building are trimmed in lieu of hitting the main story beats. Fortunately the movie still works providing enough moments to at least feel something for the central women carrying the narrative to conclusion. Sono’s warped sense of humor and style are in full effect along with general awkwardness from mixing a Romanian and Japanese cast.

Love that Chicago Int'l Film Fest programmed this (couple years ago they premiered Sono's TAG). TVH is so bloody and batshit crazy I half expected many in my matinee audience (mostly an older set) would walk out. None did. Maybe because they like the action and it's easy to follow. Of course there’s a lot of goofiness and playfulness which at times flies close to the Iguchi/Nishimura brand of silly action/gore. Sono is clearly having fun and maintains his own vision to the very slippery, soupy end. Hopefully the theatrical cut will get its own home video release.

Watch the trailer for the series here.