EKO EKO AZARAKU III (1998)
posted 00/00/2009

Directed by:
Katsuhito Ueno

Starring:
Hinako Saeki ... Misa Kuroi
Ayaka Nanami ... Aya Kinoshita
Bang-ho Cho ... Satoru Kuroi
Chika Fujimura ... Yoko Hino

Country: Japan
Runtime: 95 min
AKA: Eko Eko Azarak: Misa the Dark Angel
   
         
     

Welcome all you hot, teen Japanese girl wizards in sexy school uniform fans. This time around we have a new director and a new, unfortunately less sexy actress playing the lead role of misunderstood teen wizard detective Misa Kuroi. In this installment Misa is known as an urban legend: part wizard, part sleuth, solving occult crimes and what not while trying to manage adolescence.

A rare corpse is undergoing autopsy by Misa’s uncle who happens to be a medical examiner. He discovers the larva of a parasite (get this...) from another dimension. Just exactly how he comes to this conclusion or evidence of his occult knowledge is not really discussed. He confers with Misa and she starts her investigation (from a clue) at a local (all girl) high school where she blends in as a transfer student. She then decides it would be a good idea to join the drama club where she befriends Aya Kinoshita, a friendly student. All the girls are beautiful of course, in their Japanese sailor school uniforms and to add to the charm, some of them are lesbians. This is an outright tease because there is no nudity or even mild lesbian carnal interaction. The drama club is preparing a play that has to do with witchcraft and other occult themes. The play director is Hikaru, played by the gorgeous Yuki Hagiwara. For some odd reason part of the rehearsals involve calisthenics, and a summer camp trip.

They stay at a creepy building with an occult past and Aya has nightmares and some of the girls wander out at night. The story goes that Etori, the former chairman burned down the building and then disappeared. One of the girls, Mami, comes under a spell during one of the rehearsals and leads the others in a real witchcraft ritual. Meanwhile, out in the woods, vines attack a girl in a scene similar to the famous Evil Dead vine rape scene but minus the rape. Misa arrives just in time to stop the ritual and then something happens and all the girls are teleported and appear in a random place in the woods. Here things start to get crazy as hooded, robed zombies attack them and the girls shack up in an old building they find. Misa seals the doors with magic but outside the zombies have grabbed and killed two girls.

The third act could have been made more interesting with flashbacks or anything. Instead Etori’s ghost appears to the girls in the building and tells them the whole immensely, farfetched, ludicrous bullshit story of everything that has been going on in the movie. It so happens that Etori’s ancestors served a demon god and apparently he has followed in their footsteps. He went ahead and transferred the building to another dimension which is why it might have appeared burned down to us in our dimension. There, in an ancient laboratory, he conducts experiments in creating life forms from nothing. They are called Homunculus - innocent soulless creatures. We learn that both Aya and Hikaru are Homunculus. While Aya is mostly ignorant of the fact, Hikaru, with Etori’s ghost’s help plans on attaining a soul for her body. Her plan is to get the spirits of seven young girls transferred into her body. You might be asking yourself, as was I, just what the fuck is going on here. Their cramming too much bullshit into this movie and the turds are gonna leak out my friend. But there’s more. Misa then goes off to fight zombies while all the other girls are getting killed. One of them is drowned in a bathtub by a little demon girl in a bright room. Hikaru appears to Misa in the form of Aya and thrusts a fucking sword through her chest, not once, but twice, even coming out the other end. But if you have seen the previous films you very well know by now that Misa is illogically immortal and nothing will stop her from saving the day. Aya then wanders in and kisses Misa bringing her back to life. Misa and Hikaru release spiritual energy as they fight their wizard’s duel to the death. Hikaru is vanquished. This is followed by a pointless epilogue scene where Aya is in a coma at the hospital and Misa appears to her and makes her human by cutting her own finger and smearing the blood on Aya’s forehead. Aya is finally human and feels loved by her parents when she wakes. Do I give a shit. No.

Alas this concludes the Eko Eko Azaraku series. It has been a fun time, except for this last film. I can really see why Yoshino opted to stay away from playing Misa here. But I believe that we can all agree that the character of Misa Kuroi is an interesting and complex one. Although she tries to avert disaster she always brings death to all around her. I’m surprised that Aya survived the chaos in this movie. I have nothing against the mythology here. A lot of it sounds quite fascinating. It was just not evenly distributed, and was too much information to unload at the end. On a positive note the acting was good and the characters interesting. I suggest you give Misa Kuroi and her dark fantasy world a chance with the first two films and only approach this one with caution.

- Jorge Antonio Lopez

 

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