Takashi Ishii's Freeze Me (2001) is a more brutal version of Roman Polanski's Repulsion. A young woman (Harumi Inoue) who was gang-raped by three men in her northern town tells no one, but flees to Tokyo where she puts her life back together, becomes engaged to marry, & seems to have survived her horrific ordeal. The only evidence of how the rape changed her is her obsession with checking locks every evening, & her secret nightmares.
Three years later one of the men who raped her shows up with the news that the other two guys are on their way. Chihiro makes every effort to get the first man out of her apartment, but he clearly intends to stay, somehow believes she should wait on him & support him. When she finally breaks & bashes his head in, it seems almost self-defense, & certainly understandable revenge. And there are two more expected to arrive any day.
But this is not a revenge piece so much as it is a tale of one woman's descent into madness. She orders a set of freezers to preserve present & future corpses, & begins to have an almost pleasant relationship with safely frozen lads. She finds them far more beautiful & appealing in their frosted death than ever they had been in life.
It's a fine little psychological thriller, less fetishistic & more serious than the director's other & inferior "violent girl" film Black Angel (Kuro no tenshi, Part I, 1997) about a beautiful young woman (Riona Hazuki) who rampages through the gangster world killing yakuza, & its improved sequel (Kuro no tenshi, Part II, 1999) starring Yuki Amame as the Black Angel, hired assassin who specializes in taking down tough wicked gangsters.
The Black Angel films are frank exploitation that build on the erotified "woman's revenge" theme, but Freeze Me attempts to be more artful & psychological.
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