The LSD of the title is entirely appropriate, this being a seriously
bizarre Japanese gore fest. LUCKY SKY DIAMOND isnít a good film by any
means, but taken purely for what it is--a 58 minute joyride of gory
weirdness--itís an acceptable time-waster.
LUCKY SKY DIAMOND (RAKKU SUKAI DAIAMONDO) is often
mistakenly identified as part of Japanís notorious GUINEA PIG franchise,
and while it has definite similarities--namely the extreme gore, cheap
shot-on-video photography, short running time and highly misogynistic
bent--the film is a standalone effort. Released on Japanese video in
early 1990, it was directed by the prolific manga screenwriter Izo
Hashimoto (he co-scripted the seminal AKIRA), who went on to helm
several features, the best known being EVIL DEAD TRAP 2.
A woman awakens in a hospital room lit by an eerie
flickering light. Surrounding her is an aquarium filled with eels and
walls that drip blood. After crapping out what looks like a pile of her
own innards the woman is forcibly subdued by a lab coat wearing doctor
and his pretty assistant, who seem to be on hand solely to torment their
Eventually the not-so-good doctor and his cohort shave
the womanís head, sedate her and saw open her skull. The doctor pokes
around in the womanís exposed brain, making her body perform all sorts
of involuntary gymnastics, while his assistant fellates him. A cockroach
crawls into the womanís open skull at one point and the doctor eats it.
Later the woman, her skull sewn back up, wakes up
screaming. The assistant stabs her several times in the belly and then
leaves. She returns decked out in an outrageous Hawaiian getup and
enters into a scalpel duel with the protagonist, and then the doctor
appears wearing a cardboard box(!) and chases the woman around. Lots of
crazy behavior and bloodletting ensue.
LUCKY SKY DIAMONDíS artful, studied visuals suggest
director Izo Hashimoto might have had some serious purpose in mind, but
that doesnít mean the film should be taken seriously. The proceedings
have all the depth of an American slasher movie but none of the charm,
being resolutely stark, claustrophobic and humorless. Thereís also an
unusual amount of screaming by the heroine, which becomes quite grating
after about five minutes.
What LUCKY SKY DIAMOND does have in its favor is an
atmosphere of hallucinatory grotesquerie thatís very much its own.
Hashimoto and cinematographer Osamu Fukjiishi clearly worked overtime to
make their shot-on-video film look as good as possible, providing many
striking images--blood cascading down white walls, a microwave oven
disgorging piles of human innards, a cockroach crawling around in an
open skull--and some truly wild camerawork, making for a powerfully
visualized exercise in weirdness for weirdnessí sake.
LUCKY SKY DIAMOND (RAKKU SUKAI DAIAMONDO; BLOODY FRAGMENTS ON A WHITE
JHV (Japan Home Video)
Director: Izo Hashimoto
Producer: Kenji Haga, Satoru Ogura
Cinematography: Osamu Fukjiishi
Editing: Yoshikazu Iwanami
Cast: Naoko Amihama, Reiko Nakamura, Shiro Sano