Hell is a rogue hair—say, sprouting up somewhere unexpected, or slipping around in one’s throat. This comprises the inspiration for Hair Extensions, an erratic J-horror fable in which avenging tresses gush, smother, and slither their way over and through various moist apertures. Ren Osugi is a doof morgue attendant who indulges his hair fetish by robbing the scalps of fresh female arrivals and selling his harvest to salons for hair extensions. He’s elated when a thoroughly violated corpse arrives whose locks keep growing post-mortem—in cascades!—and even happier when the redistributed hair turns against the women who’ve bought it. Yuko (Kill Bill‘s Chiaki “Gogo” Kuriyama), a young, aspiring hair stylist across town, will be witness to the outbreak’s ground zero. Director Sion Sono clicks channels between self-reflexive larks (Yuko and her roommate introduce each other with an absurdly on-the-nose mockery of expository dialogue), installation-piece imagery (a “hair-clogged rooms” series), and sincere drama (Yuko rehabilitating her half-sister’s neglected child). Ren’s comic relief is downright assaultive, but Chiaki’s a naturally appealing presence, and Tsugumi, as her slag sis, shows rare savor while generally kicking up shit. Also: I would love to clean my apartment to that anonymous Nutrasweet pop song over the closing credits.
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