Suicide Club, known in Japan as Suicide Circle (自殺サークル, Jisatsu Sākuru), is a 2001 Japanese independent satirical horror film written and directed by Sion Sono. The film explores a wave of seemingly unconnected suicides that strikes Japan and the efforts of the police to determine the reasons behind the strange behavior.
The film takes place over six days, with footage from a fictional pop group "Dessert" opening and closing the film. The story begins with a concert held by Dessert, in which they perform a J-Pop song titled "Mail Me".
In Tokyo on May 27, 54 teenage schoolgirls commit mass suicide by throwing themselves in front of an oncoming train. Shortly after, at a hospital, two nurses commit suicide by jumping out of a window. At both locations, rolls of skin are found, with the skin in the rolls matching that removed from the bodies of the dead. Three detectives—Kuroda (Ryō Ishibashi), Shibusawa (Masatoshi Nagase), and Murata (Akaji Maro)—are notified by a hacker named Kiyoko (Yoko Kamon) of a link between the suicides and a website that shows the number of suicides as red and white circles.
Suicide Club gained a considerable amount of notoriety in film festivals around the world for its controversial, transgressive subject matter and overall gruesome presentation. It developed a significant cult following over the years, and won the Jury Prize for "Most Ground-Breaking Film" at the 2003 Fantasia Film Festival.
The film has an approval rating of 57% on the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 7 reviews. Jonathan Regehr of Screen Anarchy gave the film a rating of 6/10, calling it "an unbalanced movie".Dai Green of HorrorNews.net wrote that the film "may not register entirely in first run, but it will certainly leave a mark". Virginie Sélavy of Electric Sheep Magazine wrote that "Suicide Club has been described as 'muddled' and Sono criticised for not making his satire of pop culture and denunciation of the media clear enough. But the ambiguity of the film is precisely what makes it interesting".
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