Tomie: Beginning (2005)

Ataru Oikawa, who directed the first Tomie film, returns with the fifth installment, which is really the first direct sequel, just to prove that it isn’t just American and Italian film franchises that get screwy.

This is a sequel, sure, but also an explanation of what happened before the first film, with Tomie showing up as a transfer student and getting all the boys hotto under the collar. The difference this time is that one of the teachers has pledged to kill her, no matter how many times he has to murder her.

Unlike some of the Tomie films, this is told through the eyes of a female narrator, Matsubara Reiko, who befriends Tomie when she enters school as a new student. We start the film with her and another student — Yamamoto, who is missing an eye — as they stand in what was once their classroom.

Tomie is no victim in this one. Instead, she’s using the obsession that the boys feel to turn them into her servants while the fear that she radiates holds the girls in her sway too, forcing them to drink her cockroach-ridden tea.

It all ends the way it always does, but this time with uber-violence, as an entire class ritualistically murders Tomie, fondling her exposed organs and snapping her head clean off her body. It feels good, sure, but not as good as she feels the next day, showing up looking good as new.

This movie also tries to explain how Tomie can be centuries old by suggesting that she’s sentient blood or something. I really don’t need to know where this soliloquy spouting schoolgirl came from, to be perfectly frank. After all, I’m a big enough supporter of her work that I watched like six or seven of these so far.

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