Here is the original
"impossible-to-find" 1995 version
of Haniko, based on the popular Japanese urban legend
about a bullied/murdered student who returns from the dead to haunt
a girls' school toilet. The legend originated in the '50s, somewhat
surprising it took so long to become the plot of a movie.
Students at the
school have always whispered about a bullied young girl named Hanako
who committed suicide in the last stall of the girls' bathroom on
the 4th floor. The kids think her spirit still lives there and - for
that reason - no one ever uses that toilet. However, on the first
day of school, new student Saeko Mizuno [who knows nothing of the
legend] is seen using the stall. Rumors soon spread that Mizuno is
actually Hanako and she has come to their school in search
of new victims. Many students begin to think she is responsible for
a rash of child-killings around their campus recently. So, her classmates
decide to lock Saeko in the cursed bathroom over night, thinking if
she's still alive in the morning, then she must not be Hanako. However,
no one realizes that an actual serial killer is lurking around with
plans to eliminate Saeko that very night.
This was the debut
film for many actors and actresses. For example, here was the beginning
of Etsushi Toyokawa's career. He would later appear in 100+ movies
including Takashi Miike's GREAT
YOKAI WAR and Toshiharu Ikeda's MAN
BEHIND THE SCISSORS. This was also the starting place for
a mega popular star who found International fame in Quentin Tarantino's
Kill Bill as well as BATTLE
and Sion Sono's EXTE.
Actress Ai Maeda made her debut here. Interestingly she plays a boy
in this film, then three years later she appeared as a girl in another
version of the Hanako story (Phantom of the Toilet: Secret of
the Disappearing Girls). Miss Maeda would go on to make some
genre classics like BATTLE
ROYALE 2 and DEATH
NOTE: LAST NAME. However, easily half of her projects in the
past 20 years have been voice work for video games.
viewers will recognize Sakae Umezu playing the father of Takuya and
Natsumi Sakamoto. He is best known as "Uncle" in the RAPEMAN
A Japanese film with English and Chinese subtitles;
uncut (95 min)
widescreen format, DVDs encoded for ALL REGION NTSC,
playable on any American DVD machine.
Extras include theatrical trailers.