The Neighbor No. Thirteen (2004) film thoughts… I found out about his film from my buddy Jesse, who had it in one of his review videos. I was surprised that it was selling for a low price on-line and picked it up. The plot here is that a while ago a grammar school student Juzo was picked on daily by Akai. This wasn’t your normal bullying. It was highly sadistic and ended up with Juzo getting his face blasted with a bottle of acid. Fast forward quite a few years ahead, Juzo lives in a run down small apartment. Upstairs moves in a new family, Akai’s. What makes matters worse, Juzo goes to his first day on a new job and finds that Akai is the boss. Wait a minute….wouldn’t Akai know this was the guy he bullied in school? He doesn’t because for some reason, Juzo doesn’t appear to have the facial damage he once did…. (Yes this will get confusing)
Now this type of film has been done so many times before. Juzo, we find out, has a bit of a split personality. It manifests itself as his true image, Juzo with a horribly scarred face and along with that a very violent temperament. Not at all like the meek person Juzo actually is. Once he realizes that Akai, is actually the “Akai”, his dark side starts to emerge more and more. “It” doesn’t seem to care who he hurts, friend or foe. Juzo wants “revenge” but doesn’t want to do anything but the “other side” is all in. This leads to a large bit of nastiness which turns into many to be disemboweled or dismembered. You really need to see the film to see how it plays out as with most films of this type, it can get confusing if you are not paying attention. A few flashbacks flesh out more of how the characters came to be and there are surreal art house moments that I am sure “mean something”….
In the end, this is a pretty good film. It’s dirty, depressing…makes you want to take out bullies while they are young. As this film shows, it never ends, they just get older.