All Night Long 2
- Original title
- All Night Long 2
- Japanese title
- Running time
- 76 minutes
- 8 August 2001
by Tom Mes
Young, shy, nerdy Shinichi is spending his summer vacation holed up in his room with the curtains closed. A typical example of the shy, world-weary otaku, we see him building a model kit of a naked female manga character and sending messages on his computer.
A few miles away, his rich classmate also appears to have the house to himself (parents are nowhere to be found in this film). But he fills his time dissecting hamsters and pouring glue into his boyfriend's ear. It's Shinichi this rich kid wants in bed next to him, but being more than a little bit obsessed with death and decay, his crush is translated into violent and abusive behaviour. When the two first meet, Shinichi becomes the victim of his twisted admirer's equally twisted gang of thugs, who strip him to his underwear, beat him senseless, burn his genitals with a cigarette butt and destroy his prized manga doll.
Several days later, Shinichi finds his tormentor knocking on his door. With the promise that he won't be hurt, Shinichi takes the invitation to come to his classmate's house for dinner. There begins a game of psychological manipulation that takes Shinichi ever closer to breaking point and unearths his own capacities for violence. When the rest of the gang and a number of Shinichi's friends become involved, things quickly spiral down into violent, blood red insanity.
Some sources state that this film was refused a certificate by the Japanese ratings board Eirin on account of its "unacceptable" tone, and was instead released straight onto video. This is highly unlikely, given that the film was shot on video, which basically rules out the possibility of it ever having been intended as a theatrical release in the first place. The rumour probably originated with a prologue text that opened an earlier bootleg version of this film, which outlined the above ratings controversy.
All Night Long 2 is definitely an improvement over part 1. Matsumura's plotting is still clumsy as hell, there are still the occasional lapses into sensationalism, but at least this time the main characters and their relationship make sense. It's the core of the film and having it so well-defined does wonders for the film's impact and credibility. Shinichi, the sexual innocent, is dragged down into the twisted world of a violent sexual aggressor in a vital stage of his development. His first encounters with sex are through physical and mental abuse, rape, torture and murder. It's not surprising that at the end he will never again be the wide-eyed innocent we first saw hunched over his model kit. At the beginning of the film, he is building bodies. At the end, he is ripping them apart. The final shot of the film - Shinichi going back into the world after the massacre, with a mysterious grin on his face that belies his disturbed inner self - is almost identical to the ending of part 1, but here the development from innocent to twisted soul is motivated rather than imposed and it makes a world of difference.
All Night Long 2 is still not a masterpiece by any standards (Kazuyoshi Kumakiri's Kichiku / Kichiku Dai Enkai easily surpasses it as a study in man's descent into violence), but it certainly packs a serious punch.