24th Nov2020

‘Tokyo Home Stay Massacre’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Alex Derycz, Diana G., Will Harrell, Miyatani, Kumi Yuuki, Umiyushi, Karin Tokushige, Kanta Nonaka, Yuuki Kawashima, Ai Namura, Hideki Yanayi, Kaname Yuumura, Tousei Yamaguchi | Written and Directed by Kenta Osaka, Hirohito Takimoto

Tokyo Home Stay Massacre… What a title! One that clearly tells the audience what to expect from the film and a title that harkens back to the era of low-budget shot on video Cat III nastiness that came out of Japan back in the late 80s/early 90s.

The film tells the story of three American “teens” who are on vacation in Tokyo as part of their Japanese studies. They stay at the home of an incredibly bizarre family whose father, on the surface, is an over-the-top America-phile; his mother hates Americans; whilst the two kids of the family are wrought creepy – one looks like they’ve crawled out of an all-too-familiar TV for Christs sake! And the vacation home isn’t any better… A rundown shack that looks, from the outside, that it has been condemned. This “home” is no place for ANYONE to stay! Why the hell our three protagonists don’t run away in fear I’ll never know.

I lied. I do know. If out three leads did scarper there would be no horror film would there?!

Like the aforementioned Cat III nasties, Tokyo Home Stay Massacre is a low-budget affair. So low-budget that the films spends most of its runtime in the ramshackle titular home, with our trio of American teens sitting round talking to each other and to their hosts – through broken English and various other miscommunication. Or creeping around in the dark shooting video for their “channel”.

Probably shouldn’t be doing that. Even one of the trio of teens says that out loud. If you know its wrong and you know you shouldn’t be creeping around at night then when the sh*t it the fan, frankly its all on you! And when the proverbial poop is spurting everywhere (metaphorically-speaking because in the literal sense theres a lot of blood spurting everywhere instead!) it turns out our teens are actually intended to be sacrifices in an ancient Japanese ritual.

Reflecting the madness of Cat III horror, Tokyo Home Stay Massacre is a broad mix of horror and camp; camp which stems from not only the over-the-top nature of the film but also the ridiculous performances of everyone involved. Speaking of over-the-top, the writer/director duo of Kenta Osaka and Hirohito Takimoto really go overboard on the blood and gore in this film – with some brutal torture scenes that made me cringe at times. I also cringed in a totally different way at some of the filmmaking choices (gun versus ping pong balls anyone?) and effects work… Effects which rely far too much on really, REALLY, cheap CGI, taking away from the films few instances of well-done practical make-up effects.

Dumb, ridiculous, insane – just three of a myriad of words I could use to describe Tokyo Home Stay Massacre. If you’re a fan of those short Japan “shock” titles from back in the day, which were similarly OTT, then you might just get a kick out of this one!

Tokyo Home Stay Massacre is available on DVD and on-demand now from CultureSHOCK JAPAN and Leomark Studios.


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