Twilight Dinner (1998)
By: Captain Red Eye on April 1, 2012  | 
DVD
Pink Eiga (USA) | All Regions, NTSC | 2.35:1 (Non-anamorphic) | Japanese DD 2.0 | 63 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: Yutaka 'Mr Pink' Ikejima
Starring: Yumi Yoshiyuki, Kanae Mizuhara, Kyosuke Sasaki
Screenplay: Kyoko Godai
Country: Japan
External Links
IMDB Purchase YouTube
If there's one thing I dislike more than a film review that opens with an indulgent first person confession, it's horror-themed pornography. For me, sex is sex and horror is horror and ne'er the twain shall meet, unless it be in the form of a raped nun seeking revenge in a low-budget 70s sexploitation romp or a vapid high school slut teaching us all a valuable lesson about morals as she's hacked to death by a masked psychopath.

I'm not sure Twilight Dinner has entirely changed my opinion, but it came close. Filmed in 1998 and presumably re-released to coincide with the current obsession for anything with the word 'Twilight' in the title, this madcap and thoroughly libidinous outing revolves around an outwardly normal fellow, Kazuhiko, whose life is turned upside down when a pair of beautiful sisters move in next door. Proving toothsome in the most literal sense, the lascivious lasses quickly initiate our hapless protagonist into a deeply taboo world of sex, bloodletting, sex and more sex.

What's surprising about Twilight Dinner is how solid the performances are – the lead actors perform as though they're in a gritty Kiyoshi Kurasawa crime thriller, not a modestly budgeted vampire sex romp with incestuous sub-themes, and from Kyosuke Sasaki as Kazuhiko to the accomplished Yumi Yoshiyuki as the elder sister each put in a layered and multifaceted turn. This is one of the traits I most admire about Japanese actors: no matter how unorthodox the source material they always give an unabashed 110%, and the end result, as here, is all the better for it.

Expertly directed by Yutaka 'Mr Pink' Ikejima, heretofore best known for his work on the Japanese Wife Next Door series, Twilight Dinner is a surprisingly accomplished affair that deftly balances sex and drama and has all the madcap makings of a Pinky genre classic. And it's more entertaining than Twilight ever was.
Video
The letterboxed 2.35 transfer is slightly soft and subdued, but on the plus side remains entirely free of grain or artefacts.
Audio
The two-channel Japanese audio crackles on some of the dialogue and proves fairly rudimentary throughout, though Hitomi Oba's cleverly immersive, almost tribal score goes some way towards compensating. The subtitles are non-intrusive and error-free.
Extra Features
Pink Eiga generally don't skimp on the bonus content and Twilight Dinner is no exception. Included here are a 'Film Commentary with Director and Actress' (actually just a contemporary conversation with Ikejima and Yoshiku); additional Interviews with the pair; several Deleted Scenes with optional Video Commentary; Bios, Original Artwork and Trailers, as well as the following Featurettes:

- Mr Pink Talks About Twilight Dinner

- Mr Pink Goes to Hollywood

- Boobs & Blood International Film Festival Q & A

- Mr Pink Presents Twilight Dinner Part 2 – Basket Case
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
Much in the same way that blacks and homosexuals began appropriating formerly derogatory terms for their own usage, in this way simultaneously subverting them and stripping them of their pejorative connotations, Twilight Dinner goes some way towards reclaiming the T-word for those of us who are sickened by the mere sight of that mealy-mouthed crotch pheasant and her fey beau, or who want to punch a wall whenever the words Jacob, Edward or Stephanie Meyer are mentioned in their vicinity. Bonkers, but thoroughly enjoyable.

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