Grave, who is played by Tak Sakaguchi who rose to fame in the movie Versus, enters an ancient monastery and takes a coffin that has been guarded for a hundred years. Inside of this mysterious coffin is said to contain the goddess of destruction. Apparantely she is capable of destroying the very world in which we all live in. Grave is pursued by various people who want the coffin because they all believe that it will grant your wishes. A lot of fighting ensues and really interesting characters appear.
I think the plot as given is a template; you can use the little details dropped through the story to build something grander for yourself. It’s not going to break any new ground but it definetely contains a lot of fun. This film doesn’t rely on an in-depth script or complicated plot to progress what story it has. Mostly, Death Trance is a fighting movie. I found this film to be equal parts fresh and strange. You will notice in the film the fight scenes are very strange, with guns, and rocket launchers. Definitely not your usual samurai film, however, it is a fantasy.
Even though the films budget is noticably low, it in no way subtracts from the overall entertainment value. Apart from that the fights don’t stand out with anything particular. They are straightforward and in-your-face style, making them lack esthetics. What they acheive nicely however is the fights have the right pacing and the hardcore metal soundtrack in the background additionally provides the necessary amount of adrenalin for the viewer to get sucked in.
Luckily, the movie can arouse some excitement during the last few minutes. Overall the film is solid but only because it is so new and different. There are better films out there in the genre. Death Trance isn’t a film I plan to revisit in the future and I can’t say I enjoyed my first viewing enough to recommend it as a purchase. Even if you love Japanese cinema, I’d consider either renting it or tracking it down online. It is at least worthy of a quick viewing.