Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 30th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 2007
Director: Takuji Kitamura
Writer: Hirotoshi Kobayashi
Cast: Yosuke Asari, Megumi Seki, Terutaka Hasegawa, Hayato Ichihara, Itsuji Itao, Haruma Miura, Maho Nonami, Hiromi Shinjo
DVD released: March 30th, 2010
Approximate running time: 109 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Japanese, Dolby Digital Stereo Japanese
DVD Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.98
Synopsis: A chance meeting brings together two troubled teens, Yosuke who’s daredevil best friend died while driving recklessly on a motorcycle and Eri who’s family was killed by a drunk driver. Unable to cope with the loss of their loved ones the two have become outsiders to the rest of the world. Through their pain they form a bound and join forces against a chainsaw wielding beast that is hell bent on killing Eri. Who is this chainsaw wielding beast and what is his connection to Eri?
The screenplay for Negative Happy Chain Saw Edge was adapted from a novel written by Tatsuhiko Takimoto who also wrote the novel Welcome to the N.H.K., which was adapted into a Manga and Anime series. The screenplay for Negative Happy Chain Saw Edge was written by Hirotoshi Kobayashi, whose other notable screenwriting credits include Eko Eko Azarak: Awakening, Cursed and Death Note: L Change the World.
Is this film a, action, comedy, drama, fantasy or horror film. The answer is all of the above. This film is a melting pot of genres with no single genre dominating more than any other. This film is at its best during the more character driven moments with its two lead characters Yosuke and Eri. Both of these characters are easy to identify with which makes their sorrow all the more tangible. The area where this film is most lacking and at times underwhelming are during the scenes in which Yosuke and Eri battle the chainsaw wielding beast. At least these action scenes are effectively staged. After the first appearance of the chainsaw wielding beast in which he flees to fight another day. This character quickly loses any of its intimidating factor.
From a visual stand point the film more than holds its own. The CGI effects are effectively pulled off. The story moves along at a brisk enough pace that things never feel bogged down. The one area in which surprised me the most was the performances from the entire cast especially Yosuke Asari and Megumi Seki. In the roles of Yosuke and Eri, respectively. If you go into Negative Happy Chain Saw Edge expecting a gory horror film you will only come away disappointed. When all is said and done Negative Happy Chain Saw Edge ends up being a engaging character driven piece that effectively exploits universal themes.
Well Go USA presents Negative Happy Chain Saw Edge in a anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. This transfer has not been flagged for progressive playback. Even though the transfer is interlaced the image remains stable and there are no problems with excessive blurring / ghosting of the image. Colors look good, flesh tones look healthy, black levels look strong and details look sharp throughout.
This release comes with two audio options, Dolby Digital 5.1 Japanese and Dolby Digital Stereo Japanese. Removable English subtitles that are easy to follow and error free have been provided. Both audio tracks sound clear, balanced and at times robust.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (1 minute 30 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles) and a behind the scenes segment titled “Oresama” (11 minutes 17 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles). Overall Negative Happy Chain Saw Edge gets a well rounded audio / video presentation from Well Go USA.