Hellevator: The Bottled Fools (2004)

DVD Cover (Tokyo Shock)
Genres: Horror, Sci-Fi Horror, Science Fiction
One elevator, one girl who can read minds and one floor where the elevator should have never stopped: the ideal ingredients for a classic piece of weird horror. In the claustrophobic space of the elevator, a bunch of screwed up psychos who board halfway through produce absolute madness and mayhem on every square inch. --IMDb
Hiroki Yamaguchi Hiroki Yamaguchi
Luchino Fujisaki Luchino Fujisaki
Yoshiichi Kawada Yoshiichi Kawada
Ry˘suke Koshiba Ry˘suke Koshiba
Kae Minami Kae Minami
Yuuka Nakab˘ Yuuka Nakab˘

6.0 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: March 24, 2005
Our movie takes place in the near-future land of Japan, where the citizens now live in extremely tall buildings and never venture to the outside world. Seventeen-year-old psychic Luchino Fujisaki (credited as Luchino Fujisaki as well) is on her way to school one day, when she decides to smoke a cigarette on the way. This doesn't go over too well with the Surveillance Bureau, as the possession of cigarettes is a felony in this new world. Luchino throws down her cigarette and manages to escape, but her throwing the cigarette on the ground manages to cause a massive explosion due to some leaking fuel. Her route of escape leads her to one of the elevators that go up and down the length of the building, and here, she meets her companions for the remainder of the movie.

There's Viblio Sawatsukumori (Ikuma Saisho), a microbiologist carrying a briefcase full of cash and who appears to be quite the nervous fellow; there's Ninalada Mochizuki (Yuuko Takarada), a lady pushing around a baby carriage containing an unusually quiet child; finally, there's a young man wearing headphones and dark glasses and a very efficient lift attendant whose names were never mentioned. Things are going as good as one would expect for a fugitive of the law, until the lift attendant receives a phone call from the Surveillance Bureau... seems as though they have a couple of criminals who are set to be executed, and they need to transport them on this elevator. Luchino isn't recognized by the two police officers who board the elevator with the two criminals, so she breathes a sigh of relief... however, the criminals quickly put her on edge. There's Calpico Teranouchi (K˘ji Yokokawa), a huge, quiet man convicted of being a bomber, and then there's the loud-mouthed rapist man whose name was also never mentioned. The police chain them to the side of the elevator, and one cop leaves the other to tend to them by himself. When an explosion rips through the building, causing the elevator to stall out and setting the criminals free from their bindings, all hell starts to break loose with Luchino thrust directly into the middle.

There's a lot more to the storyline than what is detailed in the above paragraph, but it has been left out in the interest of not spoiling the movie. After the brief character introductions that is to be expected during the opening scenes, the movie wastes no time in dropping chunks of the storyline, both in real-time with the criminals, through flashbacks detailing Luchino's past, and in small cut-scenes that show her psychic powers at work. Some of what is revealed through the flashbacks and glimpses into the future make absolutely no sense at first, but they do come together in the end when all is revealed. While that method of storytelling has been done to death in recent years, it works out particularly well in this film, due to the way that it relies on the age-old adage of "don't believe everything that you see." Truer words have never been spoken, as Luchino is quick to find out.

While the storyline that is presented here is pretty decent, it's the excellent visuals that are presented that tend to make the movie more entertaining. These visuals aren't the product of millions of dollars worth of CGI effects, as most of the movie seemed to be relatively low-budget... no sir, these visuals were the product of an inventive and creative director who pulled out some tricks with the camera itself to add that extra element to the scenes in question. It would be pointless to attempt to describe some of these tricks, as words really wouldn't do them justice and make them seem less than spectacular... however, once you see them, you'll know exactly what I mean. There's also a fair amount of violence on display here, with a grand total of four bodies added to the tally. Each of these deaths are very bloody, and by the time all is said and done, the entire elevator shines red from the amount of blood that has been spilled. Gorehounds will not be disappointed with these scenes.

Overall, it's not a perfect movie, but it's worth a rental nonetheless. There's a few flaws in the storyline, and it does drag a bit in parts... but the end product is still worth a viewing. 7/10.
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