Not to be confused with the 1980’s film starring William Katt, this is a 1977 Japanese film and this marks two milestones for me. One, this movie is put on a Criterion DVD release and since I don’t watch movies called The Flowing Dreams of Roses, I normally stay away from those. And two, this movie is so fucking out there, I don’t have a lot to say.
So enjoy this moment while you can. I will, however, give you a set up.
We’re introduced to seven girls, each of them have very interesting names. They are (in no real order): Gorgeous, Kung-fu, Professor, Sweet, Fantasy, Melody, and Mac. You can kinda guess what traits each person has by their name. Professor is smart, Gorgeous likes looking at herself in the mirror, Kung-Fu knows how to fight, and Mac…likes to eat.
It’s summer vacation…wait I thought the Japanese didn’t believe in summer vacations? Anyway, Gorgeous’ dad is some musician who makes music for movies. He just came back from making a Sergio Leone film and there he meets a (I’m assuming) Italian woman. I swear I don’t remember her name cause she’s in all of three scenes so it’s not really important.
Well, it’s sort of important cause Gorgeous doesn’t like her and decides to spend the summer at her Aunt’s house in some far away town. She asks the other six girls to go with her and they agree. One them (Fantasy I think) is dating a guy named Togo who ends up being their teacher. Man, I knew Japan was loose, but DAMN!
Anyway, the beginning of the film is more of a comedy with a whole bunch of slapstick crap going on and Togo not able to take the train with the girls to the town so he has to drive there. The weirdness of the movie sort of starts instantly when we have beautifully displayed scenes and the haphazard editing.
It’s hard to describe without seeing it.
The girls arrive at the Aunt’s house and she’s in a wheelchair. The Aunt has a cat named Blanche who appears to be a witch. The girls settle in and they make fun of Mac for being fat. Well, that’s much of a stretch. Calling Mac fat is like calling Laura Flynn Boyle fat.
Anyway, Mac goes check on a watermelon they tied to a rope and put in a well (something to do with the fridge not working) and she disappears. Fantasy (The more I type that, the more it sounds like a strippers name) checks on her only to find Mac’s decapitated head in place of the watermelon.
When the other girls check, they find the watermelon and don’t believe Fantasy. It turns out the Aunt is using some weird powers to turn Mac’s head into a watermelon and they all are eating her head. It’s not as gruesome in the movie cause you see them eating watermelon.
While some other shenanigans are going on, the Aunt reveals she can walk and suddenly she starts acting very weird. She walks into the fridge and walks out upstairs and starts dancing with a skeleton while Melody plays the piano.
One last bit of humor before things turn real dark occur when Sweet is in the barn and she’s suddenly attacked by a shitload of mattresses. When the girls run in to investigate, they find Sweet’s clothes and all the girls can say is “so she’s a stripper now?” It was pretty funny.
Now the weird fucked up shit. A lot of this you will need to see for yourself, so I’m only gonna lay down a basic understanding on what happened. Melody is playing the piano when it comes to life and starts eating her fingers. Soon, it eats her entire body and you haven’t lived until you see a piano eat a human body.
Gorgeous says she’s gonna leave to get the cops but she ends up turning into her Aunt…yeah I was a bit confused by this too. The other girls (Professor, Fantasy, and Kung-fu who I should mention is now only in her underwear so she automatically became the hottest girl for me…then again I like my women tough) are left in the house, which closes itself up and traps the girls in.
Soon they are attacked by an LSD trip. Now, I’ve never done LSD (honest) but I’ve seen my fair share of movies that probably show what it’d be like if I ever did. Pretty much, things in the room start floating, a picture of Blanche comes to life, and in the best WTF scene ever the ceiling lamp attacks and eats Kung-Fu (NOO!) but her bitten off leg flies at the picture of the cat, causing the whole house to fill with blood.
Fantasy thinks Togo will save them. Oh yeah, Togo. He arrives in the town but can’t find the house. In another WTF scene, he goes up to a guy in a fruit stand and tells him his favorite fruit is banana. I’M A BANANA! I’M A BANANA! I’M A BANANA! LOOK AT ME NOW!!!
If you knew what that last part was, good luck getting that song out of your head.
Anyway, I’m not that far off cause Togo turns into a pile of bananas. I…don’t know. Anyway, Professor and Fantasy die during the LSD trip and Gorgeous is left. The Italian woman from the beginning shows up to meet with Gorgeous, but now that Gorgeous is the Aunt…things don’t look good for the woman.
And that’s about all I can write about. I think for you regular non-horror people this would be a good movie to watch cause it plays like an artsy film. To give you an example, imagine if David Lynch was Japanese in the ’70’s. The use of colors is great and the entire movie makes you feel uneasy cause of how it’s filmed. It’s very much a art film that just happens to be a horror film and for some strange reason, I like it.
Oh god, am I becoming a pretentious film snob?? Do I have to wear a kerchief around my neck, drink wine, and say such idiotic things like “The Tree of Life is too mainstream, MAN!! The Flowing Dreams of Roses is where it’s at!!”