There are only a few days to go until the Northern City of Yubari, Japan opens its gates to fans of weird and wonderful cinema for this year's Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival, and it's time to look a little deeper into the delights on offer between 23-27 February. As part of the Yubari Choice programme, this year's festival is highlighting genre film label Horror Hiho by screening five of their new titles and there is also a celebration of Sushi Typhoon director Noboru Iguchi, famous round these parts for creating such delights as THE MACHINE GIRL and KARATE ROBO ZABORGAR. Four of the director's films will be screened, including ZOMBIE ASS, which had its World Premiere at Fantastic Fest last September...and the TWO films he has made in the six months since then!
Yubari Choice: Horror Hiho Label
Maimi Yahisma, from the pop group C-ute, plays the heroine in writer/director Kenji Murakami's latest feature. Her fellow bandmate Saki Nakajima co-stars, while the group also provides the film's theme song, "The Happiest Girl In The World." Director Murakami is no stranger to Yubari, having previously won the Grand Prix for his 1998 film BORN IN SUMMER.
Yukihiko Yamaguchi's short film is about the relationship between a 40-year-old guy and his schoolgirl girlfriend. Up until now they haven't slept together, but when he finally does talk her into going to a hotel it raises some interesting moral questions for both parties. Shimi and Ginty Kobayashi star.
GHOST STORY SHIN-MIMIBUKURO-NAGURIKOMI "TOKAIDO VERSION"
This started life as a documentary series, following a gang of macho ghost hunters as they seek to confront spectres on-camera around the country. In "Tokaido Version", the guys visit famous haunted locations in Tokyo and Aichi.
Writer-director Seiji Chiba (ALIEN VS. NINJA) compiles an anthology of real-life horror stories, and tales of brutally that promise to shock through their mundanity and immediacy, rather than through any supernatural content.
HENGE "COMPLETE VERSION"
After winning the Grand Prix at Yubari 2009 for A BIG GUN, filmmaker Hajime Ohata returns with the story of a doting wife, caring for her husband who has been infested with a mysterious disease. The film promises horror, sci-fi, action and special effects!
Yubari Choice - Noboru Iguchi Selection
This omnibus film collects together four episodes of the hugely popular ghost hunting series (see above), each directed by Iguchi and starring members of the pop idol group, Smilage. Expect "the highest fear work ever!"
Parasite-ridden, shit-coated zombies attack a campsite full of attractive teens in Iguchi's latest "erotic grotesque" masterpiece! Starring Arisa Nakamura, Sugano Mayu and Asana Mamoru.
LARVA OF LOVE
An Iguchi classic from 2003, this is a bizarre love triangle about a girl, Yuki (Aki Arai) who transforms into a tentacled creature that feasts on human blood. She manipulates the guilt-ridden Fumio to do her bidding, only for a strange romance to blossom between them.
Iguchi joins forces with Jun Shiozaki (assistant director on JU-ON and HELLDRIVER) and splatter-meister Yoshihiro Nishimura for a pitch-black comedy about a hungry mountain god who comes to town to feast on humans. Cute characters proceed to eat one another!
Stay tuned, there is still more to come ahead of the festival opening this Thursday!
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