Halloween Countdown : Lesson of the Evil

No horror movie marathon is complete without some Extreme Exploitation Horror from the Asian market. Enter controversial director Takashi Miike, who has good offensive form in this area....

As deliberately provocative as it is, Lesson of the Evil (Takashi Miike, 2012) is clearly not meant to be taken seriously, but it's not exactly much fun to watch either. Mr Hasumi (Hideaki Itō) is a respected, popular teacher except - UH-OH! - he is in fact a raving lunatic with homicidal tendencies. These come to the fore when he decides to punish his students for bullying, cheating and general bad behaviour in a murderous, gun-toting rampage through the school. It's like Battle Royale meets American Psycho, but unfortunately it lacks the satirical dark humour of either of those films, which renders the violence here rather tasteless and pointless. Nor is it tense enough to work as a straightforward serial-killer thriller - Hasumi is not compelling or complex enough to work as an anti-hero. As the violence escalates, Miike's prowess in staging bloody action is certainly not in doubt, but watching student after student get blown away is all rather dull and repetitive. (Although some teachers might find this very agreeable wish-fulfilment. If so, get some therapy). It's also rather overlong and finishes on a sort of cliffhanger, but I've learned my lesson and won't be returning after the dinner-break for more.

A full list of films in the Halloween Countdown 2016 is here

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