Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 8th, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 2000
Director: Katsuhito Ishii
Writer: Katsuhito Ishii
Cast: Masatoshi Nagase, Keisuke Horibe, Yoshinori Okada, Akemi Kobayashi, Tadanobu Asano, Yoshio Harada, Tatsuya Gashuin, Yoneko Matsukane
DVD released: April 29th, 2008
Approximate running time: 104 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Japanese
DVD Release: Synapse Films
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Synopsis: A disgruntled gangster named Miki steals money from the Yakuza and hides out in a hotel. Shortly after his arrival several people from his past find him in his not so secret hiding place. Unbeknown to Miki and those who show up in his room is that they are being watched by two strangers who watch their every move. How long before one of enemies finds Miki’s hideout and who are the two strangers who peer into his room?
Party 7 was written and directed by Katsuhito Ishii who also directed Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl. Party 7 is a dialog driven film which mostly takes place in one room. Even though the film is confined to just a few sets the overall visual look of the film is infused with an oddness that is unique unto its creator director Katsuhito Ishii. The opening credits done in animation are very cool in the way they briefly set up the story and each characters background. One of the main components of Party 7 is the voyeuristic urges of Captain Banana and his new protégée who allow us to become voyeurs through their peeping.
The dialog is witty and humorous especially the moments between Miki and his former girlfriend Kana. The scenes with a character named captain Banana who shows his son his secret voyeur chamber are the most bizarre moments in the film. The films ending while out of left field it still falls in line with the dark humor laced throughout the film. Structure wise the film is reminiscent to the films of Quentin Tarantino.
The cast are very good in their respective roles with the performance of Yoshio Harada as Captain Banana being the most fun and entertaining part of the fun. The films sex appeal comes from Akemi Kobayashi’s performance as Kana the girl who has ties to all the men we encounter in Miki’s hotel room. Ultimately Katsuhito Ishii is a visionary filmmaker who creates with Party 7 a film unlike anything you have ever seen before.
Synapse Films presents Party 7 in anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. This is another superb transfer from Synapse Films that is flagged for progressive scan. Colors are nicely saturated and flesh tones look accurate.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in Japanese. The audio mix is crystal clear and at times dynamic. Removable English subtitles that are error free have been included.
Besides a stunning audio/video presentation Synapse has going the extra mile and then some with the extra content which includes Theatrical trailers, T.V. Spots, sixteen minute interview with director Katsuhito Ishii (In Japanese with English subtitles), twenty minute making of featurette (In Japanese with English subtitles), a alternate ending and complete storyboard version of the film. Virtually no stone is left unturned about the making of this film.
Synapse Films continues to put out some of the best cult movie releases on DVD and their release for Party 7 is another winner.