Japanese Death Circles


Uzumaki is a Japanese word meaning “spiral” or “vortex.” For instance, if you ate a bowl of freshness-date expired Fruit Loops™ and needed to go to the bathroom, you’d be making spirals to be flushed down the vortex. That’s just one example.


In Uzumaki (2000), however, unusual and freakish events plague a small Japanese town. A chick’s boyfriend’s dad suddenly finds himself obsessed with spirals and stays at home from work to draw them, collect them and eventually uses his own body to create them. (Ever see a guy crawl into an operating washing machine?) When he’s cremated, the smoke from his burning body forms a huge spiral in the sky, kinda like the hurricane/smoke pollution on the movie poster for An Inconvenient Truth (2006).


Soon, the girlfriend’s dad’s handmade pottery is showing signs of spirals and the faces of the citizens of Kurozu (the aforementioned town) that recently died. This includes a jilted boyfriend who throws himself in front of a car, only to have his body twisted around the wheel and forming a…spiral. He looks dead.


Another classmate only comes to the school in the rain and walks real slow and has a gnarly spiral scar on his back. No wonder – he and the entire town are turning into…SLUGS. Right the hell on. Amazingly, Uzumaki gets way more surreal than that. The local lighthouse factors in, as do the mosquitoes (they are SO icky) and the girlfriend’s hair that keeps growing and growing into huge spirals without the use of curlers.


At first I thought I was on drugs while watching Uzumaki. But I wasn’t, because drugs are illegal. Despite the 11 LEGAL beers I had consumed, the movie made a lot more sense to me after I climbed into the washing machine. What I’m sayin’ is Uzumaki will leave your brain in a swirl. Heh.

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