/slash 2016 – Prelude: Hentai Kamen

hentai-kamenHentai Kamen
Japan 2013
Written by Shun Oguri & Yûichi Fukuda
Directed by Yûichi Fukuda
Watched on 09.09.2016

I missed this movie when it played at a previous /slash Filmfestival a couple of years back. “Missed” meaning I decided not to watch it, since it was playing in the middle of the night, and I wasn’t really sure if the joke would get old after a while. However, when they offered a free screening for supporters because they’re going to show its sequel “The Abnormal Crisis” this year, I jumped at the chance to finally catch up on it. And even though my misgivings proved to be not entirely unwarranted, I’m glad that I finally watched it.

My favorite parts of the film were the parodistic elements. It starts with an intro logo that very much resembles the one from Marvel, and the credits sequence seemed to be taken directly from the Sam Raimi “Spider-Man”-films (his mask is also rather similar to the one Peter Parker wears; and, of course, both are set at a high school). Then there’s the fact that the way Hentai Kamen dresses and poses is an – exaggerated, but otherwise alarmingly accurate – depiction of the oversexualised way female superheroes (and -villains) are usually depicted in comics. Which was just as revealing as it was funny. And the first half hour or so, when Kyosuke Shikijo discovers his superpowers and wears the panty-mask and his ridiculous costume for the first time, are absolutely hilarious. There’s so much crazy stuff, and it’s just really funny to see such an absurd superhero in action for the first time. However, just as I feared, the novelty starts to wear thin after a while. Instead of coming up with new ideas, they mostly repeat the same gags over and over again, like having Hentai Kamen stick his genitals into the face of evil wrongdoers, or the ventilator-move. Funny the first time. Amusing the second time. The third time, fourth and fifth times, however, not so much. There were also a couple of scenes that didn’t really work for me, and which seemed to go on forever, like the conversation between the hero and his nemesis on a rooftop (another similarity with “Spider-Man”) – one of the few scenes where the movie actually got boring. And, of course, a couple of twists and developments are rather predictable (pretty much from the first time he’s in action, you just wait for him to ask for Aiko’s panties). Once the showdown finally came around, things got more interesting and funny again, but I sure do hope that they came up with a couple of fresh ideas for the sequel. Nevertheless, the parodistic aspects were great, and the movie overall quite entertaining. At least if you’re into that sort of (crazy Japanese) stuff.
6/10


IMDB

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