Sunday, February 20, 2011

Nightmare Theater - The Hottest Films in Horror Sci-Fi & Cult Cinema #2

Today I am featuring three more examples of Asian Cinema gems.
One of the most amazing works of animation  I have ever seen also happens to be an incredible interpretation of the Japanese manga by Taiyo Matsumoto.


The 2006 release directed by Michael Arias  is the fantastical adventure of Black and White, two street urchins determined to protect their town; Treasure Town, a place run by Yakuza and plagued by rival alien assassins.

With an incredible mix of 3D animation and highly sophisticated and rich painted backdrops Treasure Town becomes a real and dimensional world made magical by the original soundtrack/score by Plaid and the compelling personalities of the stories main characters two little boys who know how to navigate the dangerous turf with both ass kicking ability and childlike naivete. 

Despite the the fact that inside this tale is a heartwarming story of brotherly love and loyalty between two small boys, this is  no kid's stuff. The violence is intense and is perpetrated both by and upon the young children but it is not merely gratuitous splatter. This is truly a triumph of animation (from the team that created The Animatrix), storytelling and collaboration between great Japanese and American creative minds and hands. Tekkonkinkreet makes it to my list of top 25 films of all time.


Next it's Zombies vs Yakuza with the 1999 Japanese film "Junk" ("Shiryour Gari"). Writer/Director Atsushi Muroga brings us a well done action packed story of what happens when military experiments, Yakuza and petty criminal ambitions converge. An old military base housing the refuse of dangerous military experiments is probably not he best place for four amateur thieves trying to wrangle their way to the big time
to arrange a meeting with Yakuza heavyweights. This was a fun fast paced zombie adventure with generally pretty creepy zombies, squirming body bags, blazing gunfights, rich colors and all the traditional Zombie homage and gory bits.

Much fun!

Add to that the absolutely stunning Kaori Shinamora

While I have seen reviews that ravage this movie, it is as good as any Zombie movie out there, combining camp, gore and action in a low budget but well shot film that pays tribute to the George Romero Zombie films while tipping it's hat to "Reservoir Dogs" and "The Score".

What "Junk" might lack in budget and finesse is more than made up for in FUN!
So I give it 4 Skulls.


From the creators of Gamera, veteran creature filmmakers Tomo’o Haraguchi and Shinji Higuchi created this film in the tradition of Yokai Monsters. This sword girl vs monsters fantasy adventure is chock full of bizarre demons, some of whom are friendly and others that are bent on destruction. While Sakuya (Nozomi Ando) is the Star and Hero in the film who wanders the world with her half-demon brother destroying demons with her magic sword, I was left enamored of the Spider Queen and the amazing special effects that made her hands look like living tarantulas!

 Kappa monsters, undead samurai, and a giant werecat type beast are but  a few of the wonderfully fun and nicely crafted oddball monsters That Sakuya and her Ninja assistants must fend off with swords and "Bamboo Punk" devices.
Rare as it is to see on my movie lists, this one is entirely family friendly (so long as fighting and killing demons isn't considered too much for your household.

But take it from me, your life will feel more complete when you see the awesome Kaiju sized Spider Queen!
Sakuya _The Demon Slayer - Trailer
Sakuya is a fun adventure into the strange world of mythical Japanese Demons that I highly recommend!
Till next time, Happy Nightmares!

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