Review: Biohunter (1995)

Directed by:

Distributed in Australia by:

“A mix of the bizarre, noir… hyper-real, fusing mythical lore with earthly science to tantalize fears of both.”

– on Biohunter

I wept when I read that quote on the DVD cover, for I knew, even before I watched Biohunter, that I would never be able to write anything so… so… straightfaced about the film. And I was right to weep — within a minute of pressing ‘PLAY’ on my DVD remote, I’d seen a man’s hand chewed off by a breast. A breast! A woman’s breast! I mean, yeah, hyper-real was totally the first word I thought of too!

Actually, I really enjoyed Biohunter, first scene to last, so rather than make all sorts of tasteless coitus interruptus jokes, or ask inappropriate questions about Yoshiaki Kawajiri’s relationship with his mother, I’m going to restrain myself and try to write something serious about the film. Bear with me.

Yoshiaki Kawajiri (Wicked City, Ninja Scroll) didn’t actually direct Biohunter, but he’s credited as ‘writer/supervisor’ (whatever that means) and his influence shows in everything from the visual design of the film to the presence of his usual midget-with-all-the-answers character. As with Wicked City, Biohunter is almost entirely carried by its premise – despite the film moving at a cracking pace, nothing ever really happens (although curiously, the short running time doesn’t serve to accentuate this). The plight of Komada is therefore perhaps the most compelling element of the ‘plot’ — Biohunter proves consistent in displaying Kawajiri’s obsession with the potential of the human body for perversion, the result being a film that falls somewhere between Cronenberg and Bosch (but still leaves room for a few neat gags — "Komada, contact the university authorities and tell them I want my lecture schedule cancelled for next week!"). Biohunter is admittedly rather slight when compared to Wicked City or the mighty Ninja Scroll, but it’s hard to complain about something that only runs for an hour, especially when it’s as crazy as this.

Cronenberg and and Bosch are about as serious as I get though, so you’ll have excuse me now. My concentration is starting to wane and I can feel a coitus interruptus gag coming, so I’d better stop before it’s… too late…

7 adoring students (why?) out of 10.
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