Waffling Taylors Goes To The MoviesDon’t forget to check out the other episodes in the series. Make sure to click here to see which movies we’ve already covered - we’re sure that you’ll love what you have to say.
Featured ImageWe’d like to thank the amazing yurricanes for working with us to create the featured image for this episode. I think you’ll agree that it’s an amazing piece of art, and you should definitely check out their work
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Due to the nature of the movie we talk about in this episode, we’d recommend that you don’t listen to this one with little ones around. Whilst we don’t go into the detail, this movie does hit you in the feels hard. So be prepared for that, as we talk about the movie.
There’s also talk about nudity-without-any-actual-nudity
you’ll understand why when we get to it
towards the end of the discussion on the film; just to prepare you for that.
Please listen responsibly.
AND WITH A SPECIAL INTRODUCTION FROM ME: RUSSELL COMPUTECH RODRIGUEZ GENERATION SIX POINT FOUR
And this time we wanted to cover the movie version of Parasite Eve. One thing to note about this movie is that the relationship it has with the games
as of right now: Parasite Eve, Parasite Eve II, and The 3rd Birthday
The relationship is has is that it’s based on a book by Hideaki Sena, and so are the games. Except that the games are more of a “what if” continuation from about the halfway point of the book. And that the movie only has the basic plot from the book.
So all three things (book, movie, and games) can be thought of as three separate universes:
In fact, we’ve already covered the book on this website way back in 2017. So we’d recommend giving that post a quick look-see, too.
The mitochondria take control and become Instagram influencers - that’s the modern day equivalent
Thoughts Going In
Squidge is a big fan of the action RPG PlayStation title which was made, based on the book. The movie and the game entered pre-production at roughly the same time, and the teams behind both were unaware of each other. Indeed, Hideaki Sena was unaware of the game series until the early 2000s.
The production company behind the movie (Fuji TV) started production of the movie in January 1997, and was done 8 weeks later. The entire movie had a total cost of (in 1997 money) $900,000 - for context, Titanic had a budge of $200 million (again in 1997 money).
Interestingly, considering that it had a sizable budget, it was only released to Japanese theatres for one week. After which it went to VHS, and was exported to the West - starting the J-Horror craze of the late 90s and early 2000s
alongside Ringu and Ju-On: The Grudge
And it was just under a year after the movie came out that the first game was released. 1998’s Parasite Eve for PlayStation must have been in development from shortly before the movie started pre-production, which bears out quite well because a demo was shown off at E3 in 1997. As mentioned above, the movie and the games take two slightly different paths: where the movie is an attempt at retelling the story
with changes made, in order to make it more of a romantic film
The video game was a direct sequel to the book, with the main character (Aya Brea) being the daughter of Mariko Anzai
who is a junior high schooler in both the book and the movie
And Hidekai Sena - the author of the book - didn’t know about the games until the early 2000s.
Because it might prove difficult to keep tabs on who is who, here is a list of the most important characters:
- Dr. Toshiaki Nagashima; he is the protagonist
Squidge calls him Dr. Nutbar
- Kiyomi Nagashima; this is Toshiaki’s wife
- Sachiko Asakura; Toshiaki’s lab assistant
- Mariko Anzai; a junior high school girl who needs a kidney transplant
- Takatsugu Yoshizumi (aka Dr. Curtains) is the surgeon who will perform the kidney transplant
- Whilst not a character, perse, Mitochondrial Eve will feature heavily in this movie
Here’s a 10,000 ft view of the “plot”, as we see it:
- A strange collage and a console boot sound
- Bad CGI bird, is bad
- Some science in the form of a lecture, all about Mitochondria
It needs a good lubing up. Now that’s a phrase you don’t hear more often, "it needs a good lubing up"
- Meanwhile it’s laundry day
- A lesson on bacteria, for children who think that bacteria are yucky
- But they love snails
- Which are equally as yucky
- And Mariko flings herself into a swimming pool
- Dark synth and snail beheading
- Playboy style candid images of Mitochondria
- Kiyomi plays “chase me” and a faraway kiss because reasons
- And Toshiaki forgets their first anniversary
- Ominous line is ominous
- Meanwhile there is science happening in the Bat Cave
- But that’s not how you use a microscope
Sensei and wise older person stroke’s his beard
- Kiyomi drives home
- “Do you think the Mitochondria have their own agenda”
- Something terrible happens
- There’s a bunsen burner and everything
STAHP! The science that you’re doing is killing her via remote control
- Kiyomi has a horrific traffic accident, and it hits you in the feels
we skipped over this part in our discussion, because feels
- The transplant committee break every rule in the book
- “I’ll give you the kidney, if you give me her liver”
Toshiaki’s expertise is using Mitochondria to re-grow damaged liver cells
which is why he wants his wife’s liver
- Hollywood cliche 437: it only rains when it’s sad
- Flashback: it’s Christmas, yo!
- “Kiyomi” can be read “Christmas eve”, and they meet on Christmas Eve!
Side note from Jay about the “Christmas Eve” thing
Kiyomi mentions that her name can also be read as “Christmas Eve”. This is another example of goroawase (or Japanese wordplay)
I mentioned this back in my blog post about Segata Sanshiro
You see there’s a Japanese word 聖夜 which is pronounced “Seiya”, and means “Christmas Eve” or “holy night”. The first character in this word “聖” can be read as either:
Hideaki Sena hooked into this when he was creating the original character of Kiyomi for the novel, and gave her a name which literally had the same meaning as the day that Toshiaki meets her. This would give Toshiaki a strong connection between that day and Kiyomi. A subtle “they were destined to be together, since they met on a day which is written the same way as her given name.”
This would have been a not-so-subtle thing for the Japanese audience. There are lots of things like this throughout Japanese media to this day. For instance, it’s the reason why Japanese actors and singers will often list their blood types on their websites and resumes - it is believed that a person’s blood type can tell you a lot about their character.
- Dr. Curtains gets the kidney
- There’s an awful tie
- Toshiaki goes full mad scientist
- Resident Evil-like music
- Mariko is uphappy
- A bloodied handprint
- We are the snails
sing it with me! And Eve’s the Hawk now!
- There’s so much water around in this hospital
- Tummy bulges
- “Simba!” in the samples
- Asakura is possessed by the Mitochondrial goop
- Shenanigans are afoot
- Eve is all over the floor
- Suddenly Kiyomi is back… from the dead
you’ll see what I mean
- Tea and cake… and revelations!
- Asakura gives a TED talk
- Western actors with AMAZING. ACTING. TALENT.
- It starts raining on the stage
- An old man is set on fire
- Mariko is flung about by some unspoken force
- Everyone rushes to the hospital
- Is it The Blob or is it Eve?
- Nurse flambé and Morticia Addams’ing their way through a hospital
- A security system from the 1960s
It’s curtains for Dr. Curtains
- Roof party!
- Divergence from the book
- Love saves the day
The roof, the roof. The roof is having an abnormal atmospheric chemical reaction
CONGRATULATIONS BOYS. THE MOVIE WAS TWO HOURS AND TEN MINUTES. YOUR REVIEW WAS ONE HOUR, SIXTEEN MINUTES, AND FIFTY-EIGHT SECONDS. NO SINS FOR YOU TODAY.
How Would We Rate It?
We don’t usually rate games or movies, in fact we have never done that. And this was a conscious decision that we made early in the life of the site
we discussed this with Chief on one of his early episodes
But we needed to figure out a way to tell you all whether we think you should watch this movie or not. Normally we would rely on three ratings across three categories, which are:
- Love it (best)
- Try it
- Fling it into a tree (worst)
Across these categories:
- As a generic, action-horror movie
talk about being specific
- As a video game movie
- As a Parasite Eve the video game movie
However, as this isn’t really a video game movie, we decided to do something a little different. We decided to pose the question: would you recommend this movie? And our answers were:
If you don’t mind a good dollop of the feels, then it’s a good laugh; but at no point is is campy. As nuts as the idea of the film is, it still maintains that seriousness throughout.
I would say that, if you have a few hours to kill that you should read the book first. You’ll understand the characters and their motivations a little better. You will understand the story that is being told so much more than if you just watch the movie.
External Links of Interest
- Support us on Ko-Fi
- Our Facebook page
- Us on Twitter
- Parasite Eve on IMDB
- Ringu on IMDB
- Ju-On: The Grudge on IMDB
- Mitochondrial Eve on Wikipedia
- Goroawase / Japanese wordplay on Wikipedia
Links to the music used in the podcast can be found below. Definitely check them out, because they're amazing tracks by awesome musicians.
- Intro music is Among The Stars, from the Cosmos Music Pack by Muz Station Productions
- Spoiler Break music is Spectrum (Subdiffusion Mix) by Foniqz (BandCamp)
- Pallet Cleanser music is Breath Deep Breath Clear (Wu Chi) by Siobhan Dakay
- Ring Collect - © Sega
- Funny Sound Effects for Youtube Videos - NON-COPYRIGHTED SOUND EFFECTS
- Sax Lounge | Relaxing Smooth Jazz by Haygaz Yossoulkanian, Licensed purchased
- Vacant Flat from the soundtrack to Resident Evil - © Capcom
- Event 17 by Evil Mind Entertainment
- Outro Music is I N e e d Y o u 私の側て by G.H (removed from BandCamp)