Hiruko the Goblin


Action / Comedy / Fantasy / Horror

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
817.85 MB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 29 min
P/S ...
1.48 GB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 29 min
P/S 1 / 2

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by kannibalcorpsegrinder9 / 10

A highly impressive and enjoyable genre effort

Arriving in a small village, an archeologist tries to find the colleague who summoned him only instead to find his son hanging around a local school trying to find out where his crush has disappeared to, only to find that the reasoning for his summoning is a local goblin released by a classmate and must stop it together.

There was quite a lot to like with this effort. Among its brighter points is the exceptionally fun setup at play here that provides a lot of local folklore and background into the creatures' appearance. The initial guise of the group arriving at the village on an archeological expedition to uncover a series of ruins discovered in the woods surrounding the area gives this a solid backdrop to introduce the legend of the giant mound and the myths surrounding it. With plenty of evidence that there are superstitions about the mound and how dangerous it is to be around the area, aspects of a family curse that are brought up, and a series of secrets that have to be revealed about the way the locals treat the creature, the setup to this one is engaging and has a lot to like about it. On top of this incredibly fun setup, the film itself features plenty of exciting and enjoyable creature action which starts from the very beginning. The camera-work to display the creature scuttling through underground tunnels or down school hallways chasing after victims is immensely terrifying with the inhuman speed and low stature to the ground we see it zooming along, and given the beastly growling accompanying the sequences brings about a really impressive tactic. With the later scenes showing the creatures' true form and how it moves around as a human head with spider-like appendages sticking out from all sides allowing it to move about with the speed and accuracy it does and the eerie song it sings to tempt and distract victims, there's a lot to like here. That all gives the attack scenes plenty to like about it. The attack on the kids at the school manages to be both incredibly eerie with the unknown assailant flying around the room scattering objects in front of the terrified victim and manages to kill him without us seeing who it is after several distractions, while the creature chasing both the student and the professor around the campus contains several close calls and frenetic escapes on top of the impressive effects on the kills the finale, taking place in the creatures' underground hideout containing an army of similar beings about to be released, goes for more of a fantasy feel with the spells and incantations to stop them but fits in with the rest of the film and gives this a rousing, triumphant finish to raise the film quite nicely. There isn't much to dislike but it does have some slight issues. The main drawback factor to be had here is the strange treatment of the professor when he arrives at the village, which is seemingly quite comical and dismissive despite being the nominal action hero of the piece. The slapstick clumsiness, predilection for strange gadgets, and mockery by his peers all point to the comic relief role rather than the tack-charge man-of-action he really is throughout the rest of the film and leaves this one feeling somewhat discordant at the start. The other slight issue here is the films' low-budget effects work, for as good as the creature design and make-up look there are instances where it looks like cheap constructions which aren't detrimental but rather distracting. These are what hold the film down slightly.

Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence and Language.

Reviewed by BrandtSponseller7 / 10

A film about a head

Hiruko the Goblin (aka Yokai Hanta – Hiruko) director Shinya Tsukamoto has said that this is "a film about a head". I'm not sure that's quite right, but given the relative inscrutability of the film and Tsukamoto's self-professed love of cryptic ambiguity--substantial enough that he has said to not know what certain scenes or films of his are about--I suppose that "a film about a head" will have to do.

But actually, there's much more to Hiruko the Goblin than that, and at least on a surface level, the film is often almost pedestrian in presenting certain horror conventions. It's just that when you try to tie all of the scenes together, or when you try to figure out what certain more poetic and surreal dialogue and events have to do with what's going on elsewhere, the film's transparency for interpretation can harden into a block of concrete quicker than you can say "Ni"! But that's probably how Tsukamoto wants it, and if we're judging the film solely on how well it achieves its aims, we'd have to say it kicks butt. But that's not quite right, either, because a film could aim to suck, and if it does suck, we'd then have to say that it kicks butt. So we have to factor in how enjoyable/aesthetically rewarding the film is in what it sets out to do. On those grounds, I have to stick with a 7 out of 10, or a "C" here.

But enough with trying to be as impenetrably dense as Tsukamoto. Here are the basics of the plot as well as I can understand it: Hieda Reijirou (Kenji Sawada) is an archaeologist who has a penchant for inventing odd gadgets using everyday items, often kitchen utensils. At the beginning of the film, he makes some significant archaeological "mound" discovery. Then we switch to Takashi Yabe (Naoto Takenaka) and the much younger and more attractive Tsukishima Reiko (Megumi Ueno),who are exploring some cave when an unseen force comes after them and makes them quickly dolly along with the camera for some comical close-ups of "terror", ala the opening of Terry Gilliam's Jabberwocky (1977). (Did I mention that this is sort of a horror comedy?) Then we switch to three school kids, apparently classmates of Reiko's, the most important of which is Yabe's son, Masao (Masaki Kudou),who are searching for Reiko at the school. They see the scary janitor, Watanabe (Hideo Murota),then get involved in an interesting horror situation at the school, when Reijirou shows up with a bunch of gadgets for some reason. Eventually, Reijirou and Masao Yabe team up and try to solve whatever the mystery was--and it turns out to be fairly bizarre and poetic.

That plot description probably sounds a lot more vague than it would have to, but in addition to the film being a bit confusing, I have to be careful to not give too much away. Maybe it would be better--since surely it's mostly horror fans reading this review who would be wondering if they should check out the film--to say that the first major section is kind of a combination of haunted house/slasher stuff, with a heavy Evil Dead (1981) vibe (Tsukamoto even uses Raimi-like fast hand-held "tracking" shots through hallways, weird angles, and even invokes a chainsaw at one point). The second major section turns into more of a supernatural/creature story--imagine David Cronenberg doing an H.P. Lovecraft film and you'll get the idea.

All of this stuff is good on some level, even if it's pretty difficult to put together. Among the things that I was still bewildered about when the film ended were: What was the relationship between Reiko, Reijirou, Takashi Yabe, and the three boys? What did all of that religion/mythology dialogue have to do with the plot? Why did Masao Yabe have appearance and functional resemblances to his ancestor? Just what was the deal with Masao's back--why was that happening? If you like weirdness, and you don't mind a bit of derivativeness and confusion, you'll love Hiruko the Goblin.

There were a lot of things I loved about the film. I loved Reijirou's gadgets. I loved the blood/gore/decapitations (part of why this is "a film about a head"). Tsukamoto sure knows how to get the visceral stuff right. I liked the humor. I loved some of the cinematography, even if Tsukamoto had his Raimi notes written on his palm while shooting. I loved the special effects, especially the Cronenbergish stuff (and this is another part of why this is "a film about a head"). I loved a lot of the music--especially the melancholy song that Reiko kept singing (which reminded me of some similarly-flavored songs from Suicide Club (Jisatsu saakuru, 2002)--I watched that only a couple weeks before seeing Hiruko). Some of the other music was a bit like generic 1980s "synth-horror" music, but on the other hand, some music that sounded close to that was interesting jazz fusion stuff. I loved the almost corny (well, maybe it just was corny) final scenes, one of which seemed like maybe Richard Kelly kinda stole it for Donnie Darko (2001).

So there were a lot of positive points about the film. I just hope I'm not going to have to pass a quiz on the plot, themes or subtexts.

Reviewed by eyesofsociety7 / 10

tsukamoto's horror comedy

Mix a typical creature movie with Tsukamoto madness and add cheesy characters and you have Hiruko the Goblin.

Don't watch this movie expecting anything serious like Tetsuo or Tokyo Fist. This Tsukamoto movie was an offbeat comedy with some strange horror effects. The soundtrack seemed as though it doesn't fit with parts of the movie either, and the characters needed more development.

However, the craziness was still there, and Tsukamoto's camera angles, lighting, and color were all there. I'm glad I have this DVD in my collection since I am a big Tsukamoto Shinya fan.

I give it 6.5/10

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