Tokyo Psycho (2004) – By James L. Neibaur

 The latest low budget Japanese horror films offer elements of terror and suspense at a most delightfully disturbing level. Ataru Oikawa’s Tokyo Psycho was made in 2004, and although it is just now available on DVD from Panik House Entertainment, a nasty looking bootleg has apparently been around since the film’s release. This indicates the popularity of such a film; an unrelenting suspense drama about a serial killer whose methods mirror actual events from Japanese headlines.

Tokyo Psycho is part of a new wave in Asian horror. Within the parameters of a low budget, many maverick filmmakers are getting their creative vision produced. Not hampered by wagging heads trying to pigeon hole movies into a mainstream sludge, these filmmakers can comfortably exhibit the more realistic gruesomeness necessary in depicting a stalker and serial killer. Tokyo Psycho, for instance, presents the terrorizing that builds up gradually and steadily, and is fleshed out by sequences that display everything from barbed wire bondage to the dropping of earthworms over the pretty victim’s face. And while its theater run is limited, its DVD release is worldwide.

Panik House Entertainment offers many DVDs from foreign countries, complete with restored widescreen images, appropriately placed subtitles, and a wealth of special features. Tokyo Psycho not only boasts a brand new director-approved transfer, it also includes a trailer, behind-the-scenes featurette, film premiere footage, poster and still galleries, filmmaker bios, and running audio commentaries in English and Spanish. One of the more interesting special features is the inclusion of some actual crime reports on which the film is based.

Toss away your lousy bootleg and definitely pick up a beautifully mastered DVD of a brilliant example of contemporary Japanese horror.