Slit Mouthed WomanJapanese
Kuchisake-onna vs. Kashima-san
Medium: film
Year: 2017
Writer/director: Naoya Asanuma
Keywords: Slit Mouthed Woman, horror
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 75 minutes
Website category: J-horror
Review date: 26 June 2024
Kuchisake onna vs Kashima san
I tried to look this up and... GOOD GRIEF THERE'S TWO OF THEM. This film got a 2018 sequel (!?!) called Kuchisake-onna vs. Kashima-san 2, while our anti-heroine's other films include Keitai Ura Site: Kuchisake-onna (2010), Hikiko-san vs. Kuchisake-onna (2011), Kuchisake-onna vs. Mary-san (2017), Kuchisake-onna Two (2010), Sensei! Kuchisake-onna Desu! (2023), etc. And that's ignoring the films I'd already known about. The woman's a (psycho killer) film star. There's a short film called X-Man vs Kuchisake-onna (2011) and I'd laugh and laugh if she killed Wolverine in it.
Anyway, this is one of her many "A versus B" crossovers. Who's Kashima-san, then? Answer: she's like Teke-Teke, but Kashima Reiko's story came first. Yes, that's right. Japan has two female ghosts who fell on a railway line, got cut in half by a train and now go around killing people. What's different about Kashima is that she haunts toilets, like Hanako-san and Aka Manto. She'll wait there and ask people if they know where her legs are. If you give the wrong answer, you'll get torn in half.
This film ignores the lore about its ghosts. Neither Kuchisake-onna nor Kashima Reiko ever ask their trademark question in this film. They're just killers on the rampage. Kashima doesn't lurk in toilets. Kuchisake-onna doesn't care about whether or not she's beautiful. Instead, they're a two-ghost apocalypse, seemingly intent on depopulating the world. They've done pretty well so far. There's almost no one on the streets and I wouldn't get too attached to the few people we do glimpse. If you phone the police, you'll hear dying screams or else nothing at all.
Ayako and Shougo are trying to stay alive... and that's the entire plot. Yes, for the whole film. Can't get much simpler... well, almost. The ending is "WHAT THE HELL??" level mental and is based around a highly distressing idea. There's characterisation, though, with Ayako and Shougo having broken up at the start of the film and both being about to go off with a replacement boyfriend/girlfriend. (For both of them, it's a downgrade.)
...and that's all. It's an hour-long chase slasher horror. Kuchisake-onna has a higher body count, because she runs around and will gleefully kill anyone she sees. Kashima's less mobile, but creepier. This works quite well in its lowbrow way, but both Kuchisake-onna and Kashima could have been anyone, since they're not saying or doing the things they're famous for. I have other "A vs. B" J-horror movies in my queue and I'll work my way through them, but my expectations aren't high. This film is actually good, on its own limited terms, but it didn't bother with any of the things I'd been looking forward to.
I remember enjoying Sadako vs. Kayako, though.