Death Trance, (2005) directed by Yuji Shimomura, is a crazy over the top story about a coffin and it’s magical powers that it can grant your wildest dreams. I really don’t know how they came up with this but, I thank God they did.
In the alternate reality that is Death Trance, there are bunch of monks protecting a mysterious coffin. They turn away all who come to claim it by turning them into stone figures. The film opens with an unknown warrior (Tak Sakaguchi) attacking the monastery and he kicks some serious monk ass. He destroys all comers and steals the coffin, which is chained up by a thousand chains, without even unsheathing his sword.
A young in experienced monk named, Sid (Kenatro Seagal) must now set out and find this warrior and reclaim the coffin. Why you ask? Well because what everyone believes is that the coffin will grant you any wish your heart desires. In reality, the monks know that the coffin houses the Goddess of Destruction, (Yoko Fujit)who will destroy the world if let loose in the magically forest to the east. Two more contenders enter the mix both trying to capture the coffin for their own gain but our warrior disposes of them. He then opens the coffin and craps his pants when he realizes what he has done. Then the warrior and the Goddess of Destruction have a crazy trippy rose pedal fight in a vacuum. The film ends open ended because the filmmaker knew how badass his movie was.
The first thing you notice about this film, besides the crazy action that rivals any kung fu film and the metal music accompanying the fights, is the fact that you don’t know when this takes place. Everyone uses swords and dresses in traditional clothes but there are guns, giant Final Fantasy size swords, and motorcycles. I don’t even think the characters know. Most of the film you will be scratching your head trying to figure out what the subtitles aren’t telling you. The acting is bizarre and at times you can’t read the characters thoughts so well. But if you look past the lack of information given to you it is a great film.
Visually it is stunning. The style and look of the film draws you in because it is so different from the Crouching Tigers of the world. The journey that the audience and the characters go on is something out of a comic book. The craziest moments in the film come from enemies and weapons in the film. There are spider people who are real people who just use rope as their web. The unknown warrior doesn’t have a sword, he has a gun in a sword’s sheath. How cool is that? He also triple wields weapons in one fight, two guns and one sword. If that doesn’t scream awesome I don’t know what does.
Overall the film is solid but only because it is so new and different. There are better films out there in the genre. The hair styles should have won some award. They are out of this world.