Written by: Tim Nordstedt.

There is something special with movies from Japan, when it comes to their creations it´s either the most twisted and disturbing things that this world have to offer or light, campy, funny and completely nuts, then we have the ones that just didn´t make the cut at all but almost everything created in that country is really a special breed and nothing goes into the norm. Hiruko the Goblin belongs to the second description, it´s funny and have alot of references to classics like Evil Dead especially the sequel Dead By Dawn and The Thing but without the serious tone.

Hiruko the Goblin is based on a Manga created by Daijiro Morohoshi, I can´t really compare them because I haven´t read the manga but I´ll just name it as a tips for you fanatic Manga readers out there, most of the time the written or painted works a movie is based on is superiour to the film so I wouldn´t be surprised if the Manga would be better in this case too, and judging by the movie it has to be great.

In the beginning of this movie we faintly get to know the frantic archeology professor Mr Heida and witness the vanishing of the school teacher Yabe and the schoolgirl Tsukishima, in short all of those persons and event will tie a bond with Yabes son Masao and his friends wandering around the school property and looking for his father and Tsukishima that Masao has a secret crush on, after an unpleasant encounter with the grumpy janitor the boys slowly withdraws their presence but decides to stay in the schoolbuilding.

In the evening Mr Heida drops by, convinced that he have found the portal to hell which the goblin Hiruko have arrived to gather and release his army unto the earth, he clashes into Masao who doesn´t believe a word of what he says, but after a while headless bodies starts to appear and the whole gang have to fight to survive.
Hiruko is directed by Shin'ya Tsukamoto who is more known for weirder films like Adventures of the Electric Rod Boy, the Tetsuo movies and Nightmare Detective to name a few, here it seems like he takes on the more lightsided, easygoing, bloodspraying, campy horror side of himself and in my opinion he did that more than well, and I think it´s a shame that he didn´t attempt to make more of these but from what I read Hiruko didn´t go well when it was released at all and that could very well be the reason.

This movie feels a little bit more inspired by American classic horror movies but still wears it´s Japanese roots intact, I named Evil Dead in the beginning and it has the same feeling as the second one and Army of Darkness, weaving together alot of comedy, funny creepy creatures with dark surreal parts, horror, litres of blood and with two completely neurotic, panicking protagonists.

Even though Hiruko The Goblin failed upon it's release it definetely deserves a big cult-following!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Directed by: Shin'ya Tsukamoto
Written by: Daijirô Morohoshi, Koji Tsutsumi, Shin'ya Tsukamoto
Produced by: Yasuhiro Hasegawa, Toshiaki Nakazawa,
Sadao Ochi, Koji Tsutsumi, Shin Yoneyama

Cinematography by: Masahiro Kishimoto
Editing by: Yoshitami Kuroiwa, Shin'ya Tsukamoto
Special Effects by: Eiichi Asada, Takashi Oda
Music by: Tatsushi Umegaki
Cast: Kenji Sawada, Masaki Kudou, Hideo Murota, Naoto Takenaka, Megumi Ueno
Year: 1991
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Color: Color
Runtime: 1h 29min

Distributor: Shochiku-Fuji Company