starring Ebizo Ichikawa, Ko Shibasaki, Hideaki Ito, Miho Nakanishi
screenplay by Kikumi Yamagishi
directed by Takashi Miike
by Walter Chaw Takashi Miike's dip into formalism and tradition continues with Over Your Dead Body, a play-within-a-play conceit whereby star stage performer Miyuki (Ko Shibasaki) reprises the legendary role of Oiwa in the classic "Yotsuya Kaidan" and finds his off-stage relationship with co-star Kousuke (Ebizo Ichikawa) beginning to resemble the supernatural relational drama in which they've been cast. It's essentially the good version of Birdman, however low a bar that might be, with Miike embracing the new, languid pace of his middle-to-later career before suggesting that maybe he's ready to let a little of the ol' Gozu out again. Another Audition tale of a woman wronged, Over Your Dead Body can be read by the Miike scholar as further examination of the filmmaker's sources and inspirations while providing for the neophyte enough craft and late-in-the-game Guignol to sate most any variety of bloodlust. Yeah, it gets pretty nasty.