Pet Shop of Horrors (1999)
The four adventures in this collection originally aired as very brief installments in a serial on a Japanese channel similar to MTV. Although there's a fair amount of gore, these tales are not so much horrifying as creepy, with unhappy characters seeking emotional solace from the bizarre creatures found in a mysterious Chinatown store. Presiding over the shop is the transvestite Count D; his cool, unruffled manner frustrates detective Joel, who keeps finding victims of unusual crimes among the shop's recent customers. A grief-stricken couple purchases a rabbit that looks like their late child, with terrible results in "Daughter." Like the hilariously inept American feature Night of the Lepus, "Daughter" attempts to turn rabbits into deadly monsters--and fails. "Delicious," in which the spirit of a wronged bride returns in the guise of a mermaid, recalls the folk tales that have inspired Japanese artists and writers for centuries. The Hollywood rags-to-riches-to-rags saga "Despair" and the less-effective political thriller "Dual" combine elements from Eastern and Western myths. "Recommended for mature audiences" for violence, profanity, brief nudity, sexual situations, and ethnic stereotypes. --Charles Solomon … More
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