Film #342: CRUEL RESTAURANT
2 out of 5 stars
Japanese director, Koji Kawano (ATTACK GIRLS SWIM TEAM VS THE UNDEAD) brings us this riff on the SWEENEY TODD / BUNMAN (aka THE UNTOLD STORY) tale of a restaurant that substitutes human flesh for their meat. The film stars softcore porn legend, Mihiro (aka Mihiro Taniguchi) and is a rather ridiculous affair. More softcore sex film than real horror film, there is little for which to recommend this one. Yes, Mihiro is cute, but rather than use that to its fullest, she is instead raped and victimized for no other reason than the audience’s titillation. When the mystery of why the restaurant’s dumplings are so good is revealed, it’s just silly (she folds them with her vagina thereby giving them their unique and distinctive taste). While CRUEL RESTAURANT is better than Kawano’s other films, it’s still just this side of a Troma movie. Some may dig that sort of thing, but I found it to be juvenile and insulting. Had the film maybe gone for the gore, it might be different (I can’t believe I’m saying that…), but instead… this is just not a very good film.