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Carved: The Slit-Mouthed Woman

Carved: The Slit-Mouthed Woman is a 2007 Japanese horror film directed by Kōji Shiraishi and written by Shiraishi and Naoyuki Yokota. Based on the Japanese urban legend known as Kuchisake-onna, or "the Slit-Mouthed Woman", the film stars Eriko Sato as Kyōko Yamashita, a divorced mother and teacher who attempts to solve a series of child abduction cases with the help of her co-worker Noboru Matsuzaki, played by Haruhiko Kato; the film was followed by a prequel, Carved 2: The Scissors Massacre, in 2008. As stories about Kuchisake-onna spread through a Japanese town, an earthquake causes a corpse matching the entity's description to break out of a closet in an abandoned house; as that occurs, Noboru Matsuzaki, an elementary school teacher, hears a voice ask "Am I pretty?" At a playground, a boy who had gone looking for the Kuchisake-onna with his friends is grabbed by the creature, which vanishes with him. The boy's disappearance prompts the school where Noboru works to send the students home in groups, escorted by members of the staff.

Mika Sasaki is reluctant to go home, admitting to a teacher, Kyōko Yamashita, that her mother hits her. Kyōko becomes agitated when Mika says she hates her mother, causing Mika to run away, right into the arms of the Kuchisake-onna, whose appearance was again foreshadowed by Noboru hearing a voice ask "Am I pretty?" As the Kuchisake-onna leaves with Mika, Mika knocks her mask off, revealing the woman's disfigured face. At school, Noboru shows Kyōko a photograph of a woman. Noboru hears the voice again. Noboru traces the voice to a house, he and Kyōko save the boy inside from Kuchisake-onna, whom Kyōko kills with a knife. Kuchisake-onna's body turns into that of a neighboring housewife, revealing that the spirit acts by possessing other women, whose infection is signified by them developing a cough. Noboru tells Kyōko that the woman in the photo is Taeko Matsuzaki, his dead mother, a sickly and unhinged woman who would physically abuse him and his siblings. One day, Taeko "disappeared" after killing Noboru's siblings, after that and sightings of Kuchisake-onna began.

Noboru again hears the voice of Kuchisake-onna, who has possessed the mother of Mika's friend, Natsuki Tamura. Natsuki is taken to Kuchisake-onna's lair, where the spirit cuts Natsuki's mouth and murders the boy she had abducted from the playground. Mika cuts the ropes binding Natsuki, who escapes, but is too traumatized and injured to help with the search for Mika. Kyōko looks through information on the Kuchisake-onna that the boy she saved had given her, finds a note stating that Kuchisake-onna's hideout is a deserted house with a red roof, a description which matches Noboru's childhood home; as he searches the house with Kyōko, Noboru remembers that his mother tried to have him mercy kill her, telling him that unless he decapitated her, she would come back and haunt others. Instead, Noboru slit his mother's mouth and stabbed her dressed her body up in coat and mask, hid it in the closet. Kyōko and Noboru find Mika in the basement, are attacked by the Kuchisake-onna; the Kuchisake-onna wounds Kyōko captures Noboru and Mika, takes them down to the basement, brutalizes them.

Finding a knife, Kyōko stabs the Kuchisake-onna in the neck with it, killing and leaving behind the body of Natsuki's mother. Mika's mother, who had gone off to look for her daughter on her own, arrives at the house, becomes the new host of the Kuchisake-onna. To give Kyōko and Mika the chance to escape, Noboru fends off the Kuchisake-onna but is fatally wounded. Before dying, he beheads her, convinced that doing so will vanquish her; the decapitation fails to stop the Kuchisake-onna, some time the spirit takes over Kyōko while she is visiting her daughter. The film was released on DVD by Tartan Video on Aug 14, 2007. Tartan re-released the film as a part of a 3-disk combo pack with Sheitan, Slaughter Night on Oct 13, 2009, it was last released on DVD by E1 Entertainment on Oct 11, 2011. Russell Edwards of Variety gave the film a mixed review, describing it as a "low-budget chiller, unlikely to join the international remake stampede", though he noted that it "has an unsettling quality that transcends its cheap origins".

Adam Hakari, a member of the Online Film Critics Society, gave the film 2.5 out of 4 stars, writing that it "does a passable job of touching upon some heavy issues while not forgetting to sate the appetite of gorehound fans. Still, the film so comes close to greatness that viewers may find themselves disappointed when their expectations are -- pardon the pun -- cut short."Andre Manseau of Arrow in the Head gave the film a score of 3 out of 4, calling it "risky and unsettling" and "a good film, intense and scary". Adrian Halen of HorrorNews.net gave the film 3.5 out of 5 stars, commending Mizuno's performance and writing that "A top contender for becoming a classic, Carved is a story that adds a new mythos into the horror arena." Justin Felix of DVD Talk awarded the film 3 out of 5 stars, writing that "The central protagonists are not conceived well, but the titular antagonist is - and there's atmosphere enough to get the audience to the end point." A prequel to Carved, titled Carved 2: The Scissors Massacre, was released in 2008.

It is known under the titles Carved 2, A Slit-Mouthed Woman 2, Kuchisake-onna 2. A Slit-Mouthed Woman on IMDb Carved at AllMovie Kuchisake-onna at Rotten Tomatoes

2013 Venezuelan municipal elections

Municipal elections were held in Venezuela to elect 337 mayors and 2,455 local councillors for their respective 2013-2017 terms. Planned for 14 April 2013, due to the death of President Hugo Chávez and the announcement of a new presidential election to be held on that date, the municipal elections were rescheduled for 8 December 2013; that date, 8 December 2013, was announced by the president of the National Electoral Council, Tibisay Lucena. President Nicolas Maduro, Chávez's successor and head of the GPP, utilized public resources to support GPP candidates. Public resources included workers and government funding. To build support for GPP candidates, President Maduro declared on 8 November 2013 the military occupation of Daka consumer stores which evolved into similar operations involving other stores; the government forced price cuts upon private businesses and as a result, GPP saw increased approval. Head of the Superior Organ for the Defense of the Economy, Hebert García Plaza promised that "all the Venezuelan people will have the capacity to obtain a plasma television and a refrigerator of the latest generation".

The announcement of lowered prices sparked looting in multiple cities across Venezuela. As a result of El Dakazo, shortages in Venezuela intensified because businesses could not afford to import more products that were sold for artificially low prices. In November 2014 one year some Daka stores still remained empty following the events, it was announced on 20 August 2013 by the National Electoral Council that there are 19,167,416 voters, of which there are 18,952,292 Venezuelan nationals and 215,124 foreign residents with at least 10 years residency.