At Home, BluRay/DVD Reviews

MAI-CHAN’S DAILY LIFE – THE MOVIE

By • Oct 2nd, 2016 •

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BluRay review by Roy Frumkes

I didn’t like the title until I’d seen the film; then its subversive moniker made sense – it masks the horrors to come, much like the title BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967) gave no inkling of the ride to come, particularly the third act.

The MAI-CHAN ‘making of’ doc reveals how small a production this was. I would guess under a hundred grand, excluding music rights. And it is entirely successful, compared to several recent Hollywood productions a thousand times the cost.

Because it fits neatly into the Extreme Cinema genre, it will be seen primarily, or firstly, as a horror film. But there are Extreme Cinema films that are comedic (BRAIN DEAD) and MAI-CHAN’S DAILY LIFE is also a comedy. And more even perhaps than both of those categories, it is an experimental film. It would be fun double-billed with 1928’s THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER, or Dreyer‘s 1932 VAMPYR, with both of whom it shares a surreal, renegade spirit.

Even though there is enough blood and violence to make Sam Peckinpah blanch (if he were alive, of course), this film is overridingly comedic. It benefits infinitely from the adorable performance of An Koshi, who is very much the same adorable person in the making-of doc, chatting innocently about showing her ass-crack, and about crying when the crew brought out the chainsaw. Ms. Koshi has also appeared in the RAPE ZOMBIE franchise. She deserves much more cinema exposure.

I can’t tell you much about the plot, because it would give away the major reveal/hook, so I’ll just say that a woman looking for work sees an irresistible ad posted on the internet looking for a maid. She responds, and while there have been many films about maids/governesses whose best intentions go bad (THE INNOCENTS immediately bobs to the surface), none of them gets quite as perverse as this, so prepare to squirm.

The film is based on a popular and rather strong manga, which I have not as yet been able to lay my hands on.

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