Kicking off tomorrow, the Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival is a revelrous microcosm of the weird and wonderful that Japan cinema has to offer. And right at the heart of the festivities, there's always an anarchic celebration of all things extra extra crazy by splattermeister Nishimura Yoshihiro. This year he has again been gifted one of the festival screening venues for an entire day of oddball programming.
Among the highlights this year, Nishimura will be screening (for the first and perhaps only time) a selection of short films that contended for the coveted 26th spot in The ABCs Of Death 2, currently in post-production. Ably assisted by the film's co-producer, Marc Walkow, Nishimura will be giving some of the best entries in the "M Is For..." contest that sadly missed out on that lone spot in the final film.
Also amidst the 12-hour marathon of mayhem will be an appearance from Shiina Eihi, cult icon and star of the Miike Takashi classic Audition. Shiina is serving on the festival jury this year, but for one-night only will be participating in a "Special S&M Event" entitled "Let's Do Some Real Kiri-kiri-kiri". Having attended a similar event two years ago, I know only too well that there is no way of knowing what to expect.
Here's the full line-up for Nishimura's "Rebirth of the Nishi-Zo Marathon Event":
11:00 Introduction by Yoshihiro Nishimura, Maki Mizui, Naoya Tashiro
11:45 ZOMBIE TV special version screening (director Naoya Tashiro)
12:30 "Let's watch special effects and just chill out" adult time show
Guests: Shinji Higuchi, Katsuro Onoue, Kiyotaka Taguchi, Iona (actress)
(With screenings of spfx sequences submitted by amateurs and professionals worldwide.)
14:00 Student Splatter Film Festival - Nishimura Selections
(this is an offshoot of the fall event, held in Tokyo)
• "Atatakai shokutaku" (dir. Kyohei Urazaki, 27m, 2013 Student Splatter Film Festival Grand Prize Winner)
• "Ishikori jusatsu" (dir. Takuya Somura, 20m, 2013 Student Splatter Film Festival Co-Grand Prize Winner,
• "Harenchi kaidan" (dir. Shu Sato, 25m)
• "Maid of the Dead" (dir. Takena Nagao, 4m)
• "Super Position" (dir. Hiroki Tsujimoto, 29m)
16:30 "Marc and Nishimura's 'ABCs of...Didn't Quite Make It' selected screenings"
Guests: Soichi Umezawa, Hajime Ohata, Aki Morita, Marc Walkow
(A special presentation of 10 favorite entries from the ABCs of DEATH 2 competition that didn't make the final cut,
but are worthy of special mention and discussion. All presented for the first time with Japanese subtitles.)
1. M is for Maieusiophobia - dir. Christoph Younes (UK)
2. M is for Make-Believe - dir. Jeff Sanders & Cragun Clayburn (USA)
3. M is for Manure - dir. Michael Schwartz (Canada)
4. M is for Marauder - dir. Steve Daniels (USA)
5. M is for Mario - dir. Josh Emanuel (USA)
6. M is for Meat - dir. Wolf Matzl (Austria)
7. M is for Metamorphosis - dir. Robert Nevitt (UK)
8. M is for Middle - dir. Soichi Umezawa (Japan)
9. M is for Mom - dir. Carles Torrens (USA)
10. M is for Mother - dir. Marko Tomic (USA)
17:45 "Soichi Umezawa's Dream-Play #1"
18:15 HAISAI ZOMBIE screening (dir. Souichi Takayama) - Okinawa's first zombie movie, with f/x by Nishimura
Special guest: the Ryukyu Tom Cruise, Yasushi Maruyama (tentative)
19:15 CRACKING LIFE screening (dir. Kyuya Nakagawa)
20:15 "Soichi Umezawa's Dream-Play #2"
20:45 "Let's Do Some Real Kiri-kiri-kiri with AUDITION's Eihi Shiina!" Special S&M Event
With special secret screening!
Guests: Eihi Shiina, Maki Mizui, Moe Sakura
22:00 BENEATH STILL WATERS (dir. Brian Yuzna, 2005, Japanese title: DEVILS LEGEND) special screening
Live audio commentary by co-screenwriter (and Sitges Film Festival co-director) Mike Hostench (to be changed as Mike sadly cannot attend the festival)
23:30 Closing - all guests to appear onstage