The gory, off-the-wall Japanese splatterfest “Tag” is a confusing and chaotic ride, but it’s also ridiculously fun and hard not to love.
Killer wind. Killer teachers. Killer bikini bridesmaids. Pig husbands. Confusing multiverse timelines. Hypothetical crocodile attacks and enough dead Japanese schoolgirls to fit not one bus but two. This week’s Tubi Tuesday is 2015’s Tag, and it’s an absolutely wild one.
Tag, alternatively known as Real Onigokko, is truly a horror film that’s quite hard to explain. Of course, that’s just business as usual for director Sion Sono, as his films are often complex visual puzzles.
Tag opens with two buses filled with Japanese school girls going on a field trip. Suddenly a killer wind blows down the highway and chops all but one of the girls in half. The lone survivor, Mitsuko, now finds herself alone and surrounded by dead bodies. Though remarkably alive, she is now being chased by the killer wind.
She finds a group of motorists and asks for help, but the wind chops them in half. She finds a peloton of bikers and asks for help, but the wind gets them, too.
She wanders around aimlessly for a while with a furious wind hot on her heels when suddenly she appears at a high school campus and is greeted by a group of girls who claim to be her friends.
The first 15 or so minutes of this film may leave you in a state of bewilderment as the murderous wind executes countless girls.
Rest assured, when it comes to confusion, the next 30 or so minutes won’t be much better.
Mitsuko and her friends ditch school and head to the woods, where they discuss the multiverse (that’s right). Then, one of their friends hypothetically gets torn apart by a crocodile. The girls return to school, where their teacher pulls out a massive gun and brutally kills everyone.
Mitsuko again runs away, but the wind reappears to kill more Japanese school girls.
Mitsuko finally runs into a police officer who calls her by another name, Keiko. He shows her a mirror that reveals she looks like a different person. And, oh, by the way, Mitsuko/Keiko is late for her wedding.
If you’re asking yourself, “Wait, what?” right about now, I don’t blame you at all.
Just to clear things up, let me recap that.
The wind attacks a girl on a school bus; she runs through the woods and finds another school full of girls who are then killed by a teacher with a machine gun and the wind; she runs through the woods again only to find that her name and face has changed and that today is her wedding day.
It’s utter insanity… and it’s only just getting started.
We are halfway through the film, and it’s time to prepare yourself because this wild ride is about to go even more off the rails.
Mitsuko, or whatever her name is, finds her soon-to-be husband in a coffin, and he’s got a pig head. Her bridesmaids are wearing bikinis, and they are rampaging killers who tear apart the whole wedding party.
I’m not even going to try to explain the rest. It’s far too confusing… and yet wildly fun. Trust me when I say go watch it.
Sion Sono has made several crazy and memorable films like Tokyo Gore Police. He was also responsible for the 2021 film Prisoners of the Ghostland, which none other than wild man Nic Cage called the craziest film of his career. If that’s not saying something, I don’t know what is.
Tag is no exception to this filmmaker’s must-see, beautifully insane resume.
This odd but outstanding film is more than worth a watch, and you can experience the madness yourself for free on Tubi.