Labyrinth of Dreams (1997)

August 15, 2003 • Film, Reviews

Country: Japan
Director: Sogo Ishii
Producer: Yasuhiro Ito, Kenichi Kamata, Satoshi Kanno
Writer: Sogo Ishii
Cast: Rena Komine, Tadanobu Asano, Kotomi Kyono, Kirina Mano, Tomoko Kurotani.
Running Time: 90 Min

Plot: Tomiko is a conductor in a rural bus driven by the handsome Niitaka. Tomiko had received a letter from her best friend Tsuyako, a conductor in another bus company, just after Tsuyako was killed in a bus accident. Tsuyako wrote that she felt that her fiance and driver, Niitaka, planned to kill her. Tomiko therefore plans to take revenge on Niitaka. However Tomiko falls in love with Niitaka, even though she also suspects him of being the Tokyo bus driver serial killer, who killed his female conductors after tiring of them.

The final and the bleakest of Sogo Ishii’s recent cycle of trippy science fiction films. This one is shot in glorious black-and-white, and features the darkest storyline of the group. Sogo Ishii’s next movie would be Gojoe, a hard-rocking mythical-samurai action-film, and an abrupt change of pace from his style for most of the 90s (other reviewers have described this style as “narcotic”).

This one boasts a venomous story. A young woman bus conductor suspects that the new driver, her best friend’s fiance, is a murderer responsible for the death of her friend. Looking to confirm her suspicions, she gets him assigned to her bus and begins to investigate, but her ladykiller-radar is abruptly lowered when she begins to fall for the possible psycho. There is also a strange character who loiters around train tunnels and seems to have no function besides spooking the audience. It’s slow to the point of inducing sleep, and that’s it’s biggest problem. Still, if you liked Angel Dust, it’s pretty intriguing.

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