Shinya Tsukamoto made this after Tetsuo and instead of the monochromatic cyrber punk madness of that movie, he’s somehow taken a manga by Daijiro Morohoshi and made a movie that is at once horrifying and charming, as if Spielberg wanted to make a Fulci movie and decided that it should be as cartoony as possible while having nightmare fuel embedded insie every frame.
Archaelogist Reijiro Hieda (Kenji Sawada, the only Japanese person other than Yoko Ono to be on the cover of Rolling Stone) has some out there supernatural ideas that get him almost disbarred. Yet his brother-in-law Takashi Yabe (Naoto Takenaka) has discovered an ancient tomb built to seal in a yokai behind the school that he teaches at, but has disappeared along with a student named Reiko Tsukishima (Megumi Ueno).
Tabe’s son Masao (Masaki Kudou) is searching for his father when he sees Reiko at the school, but several people he knows get murdered and each of their faces appear on his back as smoke rises off it. The culprit? Her singing head, floating around the building.
Yeah, Hiruko the Goblin has just started and it’s already beyond wild.
It turns out the Masao’s grandfather had the same faces on his body sixty years ago and he had promised to keep the school sealed, as it contains a demon named Hiruko, who has turned all of her victims into spiders with human heads that chase our heroes through a system of caves as monstrous mouths come out of the ground and scream for them.
Monster hunting homemade technology, fighting demons with bug spray, demons that crawl on the floor and come shooting at your throat, incantations and rituals, plus slapstick? Man, they don’t make movies like this ever. Get this now — it’s really and truly unique and wonderful.
The Mondo Macabro release of Hiruko the Goblin has a 1080p presentation of a 2K restoration from the original camera negative, plus a new and old interview with Tsukamoto, an intro to the film by the director and videos on the special effects, a trailer and an audio commentary by Tsukamoto expert Tom Mes. You can get it from Mondo Macabro.