Combustible Celluloid
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With: Eriko Sato, Haruhiko Kato, Miki Mizuno, Kawai Chiharu, Kuwana Rie
Written by: Koji Shiraishi, Yokota Naoyuki
Directed by: Kôji Shiraishi
MPAA Rating: NR
Language: Japanese with English subtitles
Running Time: 90
Date: 03/17/2007

A Slit-Mouthed Woman (2007)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Jaws for Alarm

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Koji Shiraishi's primal and perverse new film ventures into precarious places. Based on an actual urban legend, the slit-mouthed woman wears a long coat and a surgical mask to cover up her sliced-open mouth, and kidnaps children. In Shiraishi's film, she appears supernaturally by inhabiting people's bodies (they cough just before the beastie appears). A teacher, Ms. Yamashita (Eriko Sato), who has been forbidden to see her child due to past physical abuse, sees one of her students kidnapped and tries to solve the case. The film feels rushed and a bit of a mess, but its effective, low-tech imagery and sound effects more than make up for the lack of slick professionalism. The title was changed to Carved: The Slit-Mouthed Woman for its video release. Tartan's DVD comes with a making-of featurette, cast interviews, a trailer, TV spots and optional subtitles.

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