The early days of film exploration where pretty wild, with the advent of VHS and early online access creating a community of people pushing filth. Consequently, certain films became a badge of honor in the continual search to one-up others an prove your mettle among the dregs – always scraping the bottom to see what might be hidden. This resulted in some countries gaining earlier notoriety for shock film, with Japan being a notable early entry into this obsessive search for extreme content – backed by a steady flow of pseudo snuff and mean-spirited pinku productions.
While those days of early exploration are long gone, productions in the vein of pseudo-snuff and shock is still being made in Japan. Enter Mai-Chan’s Daily Life, a production steeped in the depravity of its creator Waita Uziga about a woman who can’t die… I wonder what could possibly happen? With minor trepidation, I decided to dive in and get bloody with ‘Mai-Chan’ to see if it rekindled the early days of exploration.
What Is It About?
“Miyako responds to an advertisement for a live-in maid, and is given a job alongside the alluring Mai-chan. The young woman quickly learns that housecleaning is the least of her duties, as the master and his wife use the maids as toys in their erotic fantasies. Since Mai-chan possesses the uncanny ability to recover from any injury, no matter how severe, all their violent desires are indulged. Soon Miyako will find herself actively involved in Mai-chan’s horrific destruction and miraculous resurrection.”
With the project overseen by mangaka Waita Uziga, the film presents itself as a faithful adaptation of the source – in a sense – whereas it is limited by a shoestring budget. However, one of the greatest assets of the production is in a creative approach to punctuate the chaos and hide shortcomings. Utilizing different visual filters, clever cuts/framing and public domain score, it all combines to give the production a commanding presence. One of the better examples rests in the chainsaw vivisection scene, which through simple editing and trickery gives the audience a grand blood-soaked, ultraviolent climax
Perhaps the greatest attribute of the production is its embrace of absurdity – at face value an extremist fever dream of violence warping into a sexual awakening. However, where other productions approach the theme of combining sex and violence with caution, ‘Mai Chan’ indulges in the amalgamation of the two in a logic-defying manner. Essentially, the concept of a mild mannered maid having a sexual awakening that evolves into the murder and cannibalization of another is a stretch in the realm of criminal psychology. The reasoning for such a turn in a mild-mannered temperament is never explained and it does not need to be.
Adding to the sense of absurdism, ‘Mai-Chan’ invites elements of dark humor that will appeal to those with a twisted temperament. For example, the image of Mai dribbling blood over her Crepe as she chows down anyways presents a morbid image of commitment to concept of Mai’s powers to regenerate. Ultimately, the film is sprinkled with mini comedic moments to keep the experience from turning miserable.
Overall, the project is a morbid indulgence in sex and gore. Whether that is your thing or not, Mai Chan’s Daily Life does a wonderful job at capturing the vile combination of the two
What Did Not Work
Sometimes, I feel the graphic content like this is a young man’s game, as the young girl being subjected to all sorts of nastiness left me feeling rather… unclean (and not in the fun way). That said, the disturbing nature of a project like this will always ensure there are people who will distant themselves from the material – which is ok.
Finally, while the film does a great job of hiding its budget, it is still made on next to nothing -probably shot in houses of friends. The illusion of a rich eccentric having a bunch of maids to abuse is somewhat lost in the confines of a tiny kitchen. An understandable distraction, but a negative about the film regardless.
Where Can I Get It?
If you like your filth with some polish, I would recommend picking up the upcoming release from the deviants over at Tetrovideo when it releases this upcoming month (July 2021) . However, the production has seen a few previous releases which may be more accessible depending on your region.
There is a good chance that most viewers approaching this title will know what they are getting into. This film is definitely not for those with a sensitive disposition – extreme graphic violence, fetishism thereof and cannibalism are commonplace. Conversely, if you are the type that loves extreme cinema focused on gore, this is a bite-sized gem that will bring you back to the days of titles like Guinea Pig and Entrails of a Virgin.
Myself? I kind of fell somewhere in-between as the film did rocket me back to those days of guilt-free watching and wanting to help spread filth to masses. I can certainly appreciate the audacity of work like this (Mai Chan’s Daily Life brings violence and depravity by the bucketful), yet the effect will be entirely reliant on the audiences appreciation and tolerance – you know who you are!
Ultimately, if you want to indulge in modern extreme cinema from Japan, I can’t think of a better place to visit than the cyclical hell that is posed in Mai-Chan’s Daily Life. Dig in!
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Greetings, My name is Adam and I am from Canada.
My love for all things bizarre came at a young age, as boredom in a small town lead me down a rabbit hole of obscure film, music, tv and literature. I have carried these fascinations with and turned it into a passion for writing, sharing and discussing the various arts.
My area of expertise, if there was one, would be geared towards Asian horror with a particular interest in film and manga. However, if it is odd, disturbing or trashy I probably heard of it or can at least pretend I have in conversation.
Thank you for taking the time to read my work, I always look to grow both as a writer and fan. I truly appreciate anyone willing to come along for the journey and share their passions in turn.