J-horror tagged posts

The Eyes Have It: The Vengeance Cinema of Kaji Meiko

Note: this feature presents Japanese names in the traditional fashion of family name first, followed by given name. Japanese language film titles and genres are presented in italics for ease of reading


Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion and Stray Cat Rock: Delinquent Girl Boss, both discussed below, are currently available on BFI Player as part of the Japan 2020 season


An entire feature could be written on Kaji Meiko’s signature stare.

Expressing an ocean of fury and recrimination, that “look” is evident in the Japanese actress’ two most famous films, 1972’s Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion and 1973’s Lady Snowblood.

But, there is more to Kaji Meiko than a glare so glacial it ices blood in the veins...

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BFI Player launches Japan 2020 in May



Japan 2020, a six month event showcasing over 100 years of Japanese cinema, is live now on BFI Player.

Collections on Akira Kurosawa and classic Japanese movies are available to watch, with more to follow in June through October.

The Tokyo Olympics are postponed until 2021, and possibly beyond. The chances of travelling to and from the Isle of Wight let alone Japan this year are wobbly. So, the fact the BFI are going ahead with the season is great news in a miserable time.

Safely escape lockdown for £4.99 a month (and two weeks free trial) by journeying through over one hundred years of Japanese cinema from the comfort of your living room.

Classics of Japan’s Golden Age and films that rocked the studio system...

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A Little More Flesh

Director: Sam Ashurst

Writer: Sam Ashurst

Cast: Elf Lyons, Hazel Townsend, Dane Baptiste

Producers: Sam Ashurst, Elf Lyons

Music: Lottie Depresstival

Cinematography: Sam Ashurst

Editor: Sam Ashurst

Cert: 18 (TBC)

Running time: 76mins

Year: 2020



What’s the story: Film director Stanley Durall (Ashurst) records an audio commentary to accompany his once-banned debut film, God’s Lonely Woman, plus interspersed behind-the-scenes footage. As Durall recounts the shoot, disturbing revelations come to light.

What’s the verdict: After his memorable debut Frankenstein’s Creature, Sam Ashurst again proves large budgets are not required to produce exciting cinema, and that good ideas are free.

Channeling the spirit of 70s Euro-horror...

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Eureka! Blu-ray: Re:Born

Director: Yûji Shimomura

Writer: Benio Saeki

Cast: Tak ∴, Akio Ôtsuka, Yura Kondo

Cert: 15

Running time: 100mins

Year: 2016


 


What’s the story: Former special forces soldier Toshiro (Tak ∴) works in a small convenience store in rural Japan, caring for the orphaned Sachi (Kondo). But, dangerous enemies from his past, led by the mysterious Phantom (Ôtsuka), force him to settle old scores.

What’s the verdict: With action films arriving faster and thicker than kicks from The Raid’s Iko Uwais in a particularly foul mood, they had better come strapped with a good USP.

Re:Born’s is the close-quarter knife-fighting style practiced by both hero Toshiro and his most lethal opponents...

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Eureka! Blu-Ray: The Housemaid

Original title: Cô Haû Gaí

Director: Derek Nguyen

Writer: Derek Nguyen

Cast: Nhung Kate, Jean-Michel Richaud, Xuan Kim

Cert: 15

Running time: 105mins

Year: 2016



What’s the story: Vietnam, 1953. An orphaned young woman finds work as a housemaid at a large rubber plantation. When she and the French plantation owner begin a relationship, ghosts from the past return.

What’s the verdict: Derek Nguyen’s confident feature debut, the third highest grossing horror movie in Vietnam’s history, proudly wears its genre finery. But, amidst the J-horror and K-thriller borrowings it boasts surprises of its own.

With Nguyen permitting himself a healthy ration of spectral jolts lifted out of the Ringu and Ju-on playbook, at surface level this is a traditional tale of ghostly goings-on...

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Train to Busan

train-to-busan-posterDirector: Yeon Sang-ho

Writer: Yeon Sang-ho

Cast: Gong Yoo, Kim Soo-an, Ma Dong-seok, Jeong Yu-mi, Choi Woo-sik, Ahn So-hee, Kim Eui-sung

Cert: 15

Running time: 118mins

Year: 2016



What’s the story: Seok-woo and his estranged daughter Soo-an take the KTX fast train from Seoul to Busan and soon discover they must fight for their lives during a zombie outbreak.

train-to-busan-gong-woo-ma-dong-seok-choi-woo-sik-kim-so-an-jeong-yu-mitrain-to-busan-ahn-so-hee

What’s the verdict: It is not as scary as the British rail service when a single flake of snow falls from the sky. But, Yeon Sang-ho’s Train to Busan joins such locomotive nailbiters as Runaway Train, The Taking of Pelham 123 and Horror Express as a first class example of how to keep excitement and tension on the right track.

A zombie film by way of a disaster movie, main characters are efficiently set up while the undead apo...

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Sadako vs Kayako

Sadako-vs-Kayako-posterDirector: Kôji Shiraishi

Writer: Kôji Suzuki, Takashi Shimizu (characters only)

Cast: Mizuki Yamamoto, Tina Tamashiro, Aimi Satsukawa, Masahrio Kômoto, Masanobu Andô, Rina Endo, Elly Nanami

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Running time: 98mins

Year: 2016



What’s the story: Two college girls unleash the dormant spirit of Ring’s Sadako when they discover the cursed video tape. In another part of Tokyo, a high school student dooms herself when entering the house haunted by The Grudge’s Kayako. Is pitching the two legendary evil spirits against each other the only way to survive?

Sadako-vs-Kayako---Aimi-SatsukawaSadako-vs-Kayako---Mizuki-Yamamoto

What’s the verdict: (Franchise) vs (Franchise) movies are typically a case of “nice idea, shame about the execution.” Alien vs Predator, Freddy vs Jason, Batman v Superman… underachievers all.

That Sadako vs Kayako...

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Must-See Movies At FrightFest 2016

FrightFest-2016-feature-imageFrightFest returns this August Bank Holiday for its seventeenth year. And while the festival has been a mainstay of London’s Leicester Square for sixteen years, this time it is relocating to the 12-screen Vue Cinema in West London’s Shepherd’s Bush from 25th – 29th August.

FrightFest 2016 also has a new sponsor, with the Horror Channel appropriately now the headline backer.

But, while some things have changed, the festival still boasts the expected pedigree. Over 5 days 62 films will be showcased, spanning 16 countries.

Bracketing the festival is the European Premiere of My Father Die, Sean Brosnan’s brutal and beautiful feature debut – an ultra-stylish, uber violent revenge thriller that’s a calling card for Brosnan’s brilliant talents...

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