Rare: A Dead Person - Baroque - Aroma Planning - DVD
Written by Jay Creepy   
Sunday, 07 April 2019


Year: 1996
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Color: Color
Runtime: 1 h 30min

Studio: Baroque
Distributor: Aroma Planning

Throughout the history of recorded and distributed tapes, DVDs and downloads, there is the Pandora's Box that many seek. The contents on which are the documented footage of dead folk – fresh or decomposed.

Let's forget the whole snuff idea and direct our memories to the real death footage material. As young collectors, I think at least 80% of us have explored the dark and dingy alleys of film hunting, looking for the sacred object. We had the Mondo movies, then the ridiculous Faces of Death series. There's been Traces of Death, Death Scenes, amongst other real and pretenders, and standalone well-made documentaries such as The Killing of America (see review here) but all of them (other than some including fake stuff) kind of shy away at long shots, aside from Death Scenes: Manson at a push, not giving you the gut twisting punch. Leave that to websites like the long destroyed Nothing Toxic and so on.

Behold the Rare: A Dead Person series, put together by the infamously brutal Baroque studio. Approach with severe caution. These are shaky and disturbing roads, for the hardcore only.

Last year, I reviewed the Japanese shock epic Women's Flesh: My Red Guts (see review here) and there happened to be a brief but ample enough trailer for these cult death gems. Thus I went hell bent around the web to track 'em down. Guess what? I managed to buy six titles from the Baroque studio and shelved them in my collection for a while. You have to be in the right mood to go face to face with reality – in as much the remains of accidents, suicides, and such. By the appearance of the trailer I saw, these films do not hold back an inch of broken or rotted flesh. I am not a thrill seeker, or a sightseer, it's one thing to just have a montage of carcasses on show, it's another thing to be very enthralling in as much showing the step-by-step removal and sometimes deep study of a potential murder.

One thing is for sure, you won't find these documentaries on Discovery!

What can you say as the viewer, when the first piece of footage is of a body laid in a crowded street and his cranium is totally smashed to a pulp? The camera has a lovable Fulci and Franco zoom in, then pans out to the crowd and the cops. For good measure we have more close-ups, and one of the person's bashed and gruesome legs. For the best part of three minutes, we're entertained by this splattered cadaver before taking in the surroundings which reveal a motorbike mangled a few feet away, then we return to another two minutes of studying the deceased. Hell, the Japanese sure know how to party when it comes to genuine death shockers and those who record these for the authorities certainly aren't lapse! You gotta dig the two little kids six and a half minutes in having a right good nosey. Afford yourself a giggle when one of the cops uses a page of newspaper to scoop brains into what is left of the guy's skull and a medic, with the newspapers help, lifts the remains up – just for more filming.

The poor guy is finally bagged up, along with the newspapers, and slung in an ambulance. Fade out. Fade in to find another road accident. Ever wondered as you smacked a morning egg open with a spoon what a human head would look like if opened the same? Well, ladies and gentlemen, wonder no more. This dude has the top of his skull hanging wide and swinging – a bit like the monkey in Faces of Death! There's blood, and chunks of squishy globs all over the place, so you know that camera is gonna linger and force it all into yer face. There's a young bloke crouched by the corpse, rubbing his eyes, he straightens and kicks at it, walking away whilst someone says something to him. Dunno what that was about.

The third raises your eyebrows because it's a body wedged behind the seats in a taxi left in a field by a desolate road. There's not much damage to the body other than what appears to be a hefty stab wound to his torso. Oh, and his pants are undone. Forensics have a dust around and find prints. Then we watch the police doing their thing for a few minutes before the murder victim is removed from the vehicle. Multiple stab wounds and a major gash to his throat. Other wounds suggest a brief fight against his assailant.

Fourth venture in happens to be a floater fished from the water late one night – no matter how late these incidents occur, there's always a large gaggle of onlookers. This one concludes as the paramedics wrap him up and accidentally drop him so he spills out from the shroud. Oops. Up next is the aftermath of a man with a gun being shot down by police officers – or has been blasted by someone. The thing is, there's no translation on the DVD nor on the web. I even tried image translate for the back sleeve but it brought up random words (Example for the taxi murder: “I was raised in the case of a black fungus because of a black fungus of a black spot 20? The subject is the accident and the taxi now and the seller sees it as a thing by the hauled edition in the 1.0 minute.”) so I gave in. Seems the dude had robbed a fair amount of jewellery though.

Onwards we journey, and it's time to join the crew who are basically untangling the most misshapen and mangled wreckage of a lorry and other vehicles after a collision. You just know the human remains aren't going to be very nice to see as we glimpse little peek-a-boo portions of people. It's quite chilling as they empty one man's pockets after carrying his body out, you see his driver’s licence and a photo of who he was before becoming this bloody mutilated chunk of cold flesh.

Naturally, you have to expect the finale to be a showstopper. How can you top what has been shown so far? Ah, the raped and murdered remains a child. Yes, here be the gut punch. Plus this one has been left undiscovered in a derelict building for a while, coated with flies and putrefied. To add insult to injury, it’s her face splashed across the DVD cover.

Rare: A Dead Person Volume 1 is that next level mind-fuck. Not for the faint of heart, the morbidly curious, or for anybody going in for a big thrill and excitement. I've never been shy at ghoulishly watching footage like this, so bless the Japanese for filming some of the most eternal and lingering close-ups of exposed and decimated human meat ever. It's not a pizza and beer movie (saying that, I ate a bowl of cornflakes and supped a few cup of teas whilst viewing) and it doesn't have any talking heads chit chat, just the noises of traffic, the people and the officers talking to one another.

I did manage to have one line translated -- a sentence which appears on screen after the title. In English it says “Meat that should have been people.” So perhaps there is a moral there?

Anyhow, the DVD is a simple barebones affair, no menu, nothing but the documentary. It's as below the counter underground as you can get. Whoever put it together did a remarkable job, taking us in stages which build up to... that last one... feel your mind pop! The sound and picture is as clear as you can allow for the fact all was filmed mainly at night with flash lights and the loudness of rubbernecking crowds.

Like I said, it isn't a thrill seekers prize, it's actually a very intelligent study of death. Gunther von Hagens recognised how human beings are fascinated by a dead body, as a species we will look at one given the chance. Is it a taboo? A fear of the unknown? Or for some it's the lack of fear, knowing more than the mere material shell presented. Am I over analysing these things? I'm sure the stills to the right will provide enough warning for the unprepared and collectors of this genre are hugely encouraged to track the titles down. This is one of the reasons Severed Cinema exists, to find that rabbit hole which smells of decay.




 VIDEO: 1 
Skull - Severed Cinema1 
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Skull - Severed Cinema
 AUDIO: 1 
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Skull - Severed CinemaNo 
Skull - Severed Cinema
 DVD: 1 
Skull - Severed CinemaNo 
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Skull - Severed CinemaNo 
Skull - Severed Cinema
 MOVIE: 1 
Skull - Severed Cinema1 
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Skull - Severed Cinema1 
Skull - Severed CinemaNo 
Skull - Severed Cinema

 Aspect Ratio: Full Frame
 Region: NTSC R0
 Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono

 – N/A

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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

Last Updated ( Sunday, 07 April 2019 )