A couple years ago, you had to explain what crowdfunding is to most people. “They’re running a Kickstarter” meant nothing to the average person. All that has changed as this new funding model is now a prevalent part of the digital landscape with the Kickstarter brand being as synonymous with it as Coke is to cola.
Dead Sushi is the latest film by Director Noboru Iguchi. Known for such cult classics such as The Machine Girl and RoboGeisha. His latest film is a horror-comedy romp of epic proportions. Light and mocking, it never takes itself, or even the premise, very seriously.
When Keiko (Rina Takeda) runs away after her overbearing Master Sushi chef father (who wants her to be a boy) berates her for not being good enough at either making Sushi or martial arts, she finds a job in an inn that specializes in Sushi. Keiko doesn’t get hired to make it, only to serve as waitress. The other employees mock her and the owners scold her. The only friend she has is Sawada (Shigeru Matsuzaki). When the management of Komatsu Pharmaceuticals shows up at the end, disgruntled employee, Yamada (Kentarô Shimazu) infects sushi with a reanimating drug. What ensues is mayhem and chaos, with Keiko and Sawada teaming up to try and save the hotel and its guests from the food gone wild.
While this ridiculous premise might seem too far beyond good taste and acceptable filmmaking, it the blended concoction of action, horror, farce and slapstick works quite well together. The playful manner with which Iguchi uses the cast and crew helps the material and cast bring this cartoonish movie to life. With an eye squarely set on the fantastically funny, the over the top effects and situations never stop amazing and amusing. Not only do the individual pieces of sushi and sashimi kill, but they fly, mate, mock and even sing. Keeping the pace and tone throughout it 90 or so minute runtime might seem like it’s either overly long or could be tiresome, but is funny enough and whimsical enough to carry the entire film through without getting boring or tedious.
Some people may be offended or confused by cultural differences, on top of which there are multiple outrageous, violent, gory scenes that will bother others. The effects are a mix of CGI and old school props, but they never rise above the cheesy quality the film so richly deserves and gets. Had they gone for real effects, it would have ruined the mood of parody so carefully created. Takeda carries much of the film on her shoulders. Cute and vulnerable, she also comes across as tough and determined as she kicks and chops her way through the film. A completely gonzo spirit marks her performance, as well as the film, as she gives it her all. The band of back up performers, most notability Sawada as a knife phobic sushi chef, are as dedicated and fun to watch as she is, but she is the star, and the star attraction.
While a fun and fantastic film, it will not be for everyone. Horror fans will find much to enjoy here, as it’s lightly, enthusiastic mocking of monster films does so with knowing what fans find funny, and gives them a reason to laugh at the genre, and themselves.
Grave Encounters 2 is a surprisingly better made horror film than was expected. This film draws from many sources and ideas that have been seen elsewhere, but manages to blend them nicely into some solid chills and lots of fun. Capturing the tone of the first, it expands the mythos in interesting and creative ways.
Starting with various vloggers speaking about the first film, we are introduced to Alex (Richard Harmon), a film school student that initially thinks the first film is fiction and poorly made. We are introduced to his friends, Jennifer (Leanne Lapp), Trevor (Dylan Playfair), Tessa (Stephanie Bennett) and Jared (Howie Lai). We see them living their college life, with Alex shooting a movie and slowly becoming obsessed with the original Grave Encounters after he tries to find out what the actors are up to. Using social media, he gets contacted by DeathAwaits666. Alex is told if he comes to the site of the original, all the truth will be revealed. His friends are convinced to come, and manage to get into the hospital. Once there, of course, the truth is revealed.
This is another found footage film, though we do have a survivor to bring it out, and uses some effective ways to have multiple angles of the same scene. By early on placing several cameras on tripods, the viewer gets a much welcomed break from the constant motion usually evident. We also get, quite literally, another viewpoint of the same situation. This immersion works quite effectively in placing the viewer right in the middle of the action. As the group size decreases, so do the number of cameras, which further emphases their predicament. Keeping the view limited in such a dark and dank place, works well to enhance the claustrophobic atmosphere and sense of dread.
The Vicious Brothers managed to write a relatively solid script for Director John Poliquin. In an effort to create real people rather than just characters to be killed, the time between opening credits and the hospital is overly long. The inclusion of footage of them as goofy college kids only show a lack of seriousness on their part that allows them to be sucked into this, yet the film dwells on the growing obsession of Alex longer than was needed. Poor choices are made, multiple times, about things that should have been obvious to a serious horror fan. If a place is haunted, and managed to kill an entire crew once, why would you think you could go in and come out ok beyond the arrogance of youth.
Once there, things move at a fairly good pace, doubling back on thoughts and ideas as the increasingly smaller group works its way through an ever more complex system of doors and tunnels. The addition of Lance Preston (Sean Rogerson) from the first film having survived deepens the mystery of what is going on. He has gone insane, but still manages to be a hinge on which the final segment of the film rests. Having spent so much time on the college kids, they felt it was only right to let everyone in on what Lance has been up to. It’s not pretty or nice.
Longtime horror fans, and gamers, will find plenty to be familiar with, and will have seen parts of this film before. Overall it’s a solid film, both serious and casual fans should find plenty to enjoy.
Sure we are a film and tv site that focuses on news that relates to various aspects of pop-culture, however every once in awhile we come across a nice little bit of movie marketing outside the traditional release of trailers and images that really ties in nicely with the film its promoting.
This promo that Coke Zero did for Skyfall definitely fits into that bill. I really dug it and was executed in a fun manner that really was on point with the brand.
Check out the video below and prepared to be delightfully surprised. (And how bad do you want this machine to show up at Union Station in Toronto?)
About The Film Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.
Coming to theaters and IMAX on November 9, the Sam Mendes-directed action adventure stars Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Dame Judi Dench, Naomie Harris, Berenice Marlohe, Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney, Ben Whishaw, Helen McCrory, Ola Rapace and Tonia Sotiropoulou.
Check out our ongoing coverage of Skyfall - Oh Man Do Things Go Boom In This Explosive Clip From #Skyfall - First Reactions To ‘#Skyfall’ .. And *Spoiler Alert* It’s Very, Very Good - New ‘#Skyfall’ Trailer Using The Badass Theme Sung By Adele. - Not One But Two Incredibly Awesome #Skyfall Trailers - Brand New, Fully Badass Olympic TV Spot For ‘Skyfall’ - Check Out The New ‘Q’ In “Skyfall” - Hey James Bond Fans, Every Wish Every Bond Movie Was On Blu-Ray? - “We’re Going To Kill Them First..” – The Very Fantastic Teaser Trailer for Skyfall - ‘Skyfall’ Teaser Gives Us Bond Really Being Bond - Next James Bond Film After Skyfall confirmed for 2014 Outing - Bond is back! First Image of Bond in #Skyfall and it’s pretty Bad-ass!
The population of isolated Erin Island have a calm, quant life free of most of the worst aspects of the modern world. That is until this idyllic existence is disturbed by the arrival of a meteor in the night that happens to release some sort of blood sucking aliens bent on, well, sucking the life out of the islanders. And so begins Grabbers, the opening night film for this year’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival. A delightful film that showcases not only the island, but a genuinely funny and well directed film.
The local Garda (Richard Coyle), his fresh-off-the-ferry colleague (Ruth Bradley) and a valiant marine biologist (Russell Tovey in Barbour), begin an investigation when several whales wash up on the beach together. When one of the local drunks captures a ‘grabber’, and subsequently kills it from the sheer volume of alcohol in his blood when the grabber tries to kill him, the trio discover a way to keep the island inhabitants alive until help arrives. And help won’t arrive until after a impending storm rolls through that very night. How to keep them all alive? Keep ‘em all drunk. The twists and turns of not only discovery, but of getting all the residents to the church are as amusing as they are charming.
The writing is well done. One can see and feel each of the characters in this small community as living and vibrant. Director Jon Wright does a good job of echoing 80′s b-flick atmosphere throughout the film with an emphasis on the fun and irreverent. The characters all have a ring of truth to them, but without descending into the cliché or bad dialogue. There is a very realistic tone to the scenes where the various actors are supposed to be drunk. Rather than blame the characters for poor decisions, their drunkenness serves as an obstacle to both amuse and understand. Taken with the honesty with which the characters are written, the overall effect works outstandingly well for a low budget film. The relationship between Richard Coyle and Ruth Bradley, while predictable, is no less fun to watch because of the witty and clever banter the two share throughout the film.
The acting is superb and the CGI monsters are quite passable. While treated to three basic types, small, medium and large, the effects work very well most of the time, with only a few instances where someone in the production didn’t quite match the effects to the film. Despite this, the film has enough other aspects that work so well as to overlook the minor flaws. In the end, one feels the cast is laughing with you, not at you, and through good acting and well placed irony, you are laughing at the situation and not the bad effects.
Filmed in a very stylish and slick manner, the film is bright and well lit, even in the night scenes. Shot in the north of Ireland, it showcases the rugged beauty and we get a feeling for both the imaginary islanders isolation and the harshness of their lives. The soundtrack only enhances the action unfolding onscreen, rather than being either distractive or generally awful as is the norm for lower budget films.
Recommended as a fun, old school horror film.
And the beat goes on with the Telluride Film Festival. Basically we are all getting a preview to #TIFF12 and whether or not you should use one of your precious slots with a particular film. Next up we have Ken Burns‘ Central Park Five which had its premiere earlier.
Check out the buzz in the social sphere below. Quick note, if you are interested in this doc but its sold out already a TIFF, check out the very well-made West Memphis 3. You will thank me later.