Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 26th, 2017
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 2015
Director: Sion Sono
Writer: Sion Sono
Adapted From: Real Onigokko a novel written by Yûsuke Yamada
Cast: Reina Triendl, Mariko Shinoda, Erina Mano, Yuki Sakurai, Aki Hiraoka, Ami Tomite
BluRay released: November 20th, 2017
Approximate running time: 86 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: 15 (UK)
Sound: LPCM Stereo Japanese
BluRay Release: Eureka Video
Region Coding: Region B / Region 2 PAL
Retail Price: £17.99 (UK)
Synopsis: A tragic event causes a young woman’s life spiral’s out of control. And in the aftermath following that tragic event, she starts to question what is real and what is a figment of her imagination?
In its truest form, cinema is at best when it surprises you. Unfortunately, when it comes to modern cinema, it has become to sterilized and far too much focus is put into trying to manufacture a product for maximum profit. Fortunately, all is not lost and there are filmmakers like Sion Sono (Love Exposure, Cold Fish), who falls firmly into the former category.
Tag was adapted from a novel titled Real Onigokko that was written by Yûsuke Yamada and this novel has previously been adapted into a T.V. series and a series of films under the title The Chasing World. It should be noted though these other films and T.V. series were adapted from the same source that serves as a launching point for Sion Sono’s Tag. He makes a substantial change by switching the protagonist from a family to female high school students.
When it comes to shocking moments, this is one area where Sion Sono always delivers and then some. And nowhere is this more evident, then Tag’s opening sequence that features two school buses and various other young women, who are decapitated or they are chopped in half by an unseen entity. This scene perfectly sets the tone the events that are about to unfold.
The film’s features a loosely constructed narrative that is driven by its nightmarish imagery. The protagonist of this film is a young woman named Mitsuko and by the time her character reaches her moment of truth. She has transformed into two other young woman who are also facing a similar dilemma. And the narrative moves at a frenetic that perfectly puts in the protagonists state of mind.
Performance wise the cast are all very enthusiastic in their respective roles. With this film’s most memorable performance being Reina Triendl in the role of this film’s protagonist Mitsuko. Another performance of note is Yuki Sakurai in the role of Aki. This character is one of the few constants who aides Mitsuko as she tries to make sense of what is happening too her.
As mentioned before there is an ample amount of carnage throughout this film. And a few of the more memorable moments of bloodletting include, a scene where the teachers stalk and prey students and a wedding sequences involving a groom who looks like a pig.
Tag comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Details are crisp, colors and flesh tones look accurate, black and contrast levels remain strong throughout and there are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a LPCM stereo mix in Japanese with removable English subtitles. The audio sounds, clean, clear, balanced and robust when it needs too.
Extras for this release are limited to a trailer for the film (1 minute 8 seconds, in Japanese with English subtitles).
Included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo release.
Overall Tag gets a solid audio / video presentation from Eureka Video.