Sunday, 16 November 2014

'New Directors From Japan' DVD/BLURAY out November 24

Hello Folks,
Jonny T here with news of a very exciting and excellent looking release from third window films . Showcasing the hottest up and coming Japanese film makers New Directors from Japan hits DVD/BLURAY on November 24th. I've put all the details below and watch this space for a review coming up this week!
Jonny T.

Third Window Films have always tried hard to bring a wide variety of films from the Far East to the West, from big studio productions to minor indie masterpieces, and this project is another step in our goal to open up the West to what's so great about Asian cinema!

This project is focusing on young and unique directors from Japan whose films have not received any sort of distribution in their own or any other territory. We want to focus on supporting young talent and making their names recognizable so decided to create this 'NEW DIRECTORS FROM JAPAN' release which focuses on individual directors and their work.

Third Window Films has always tried to find directors and films that are both 'unique' and 'entertaining' and we feel that these three directors fit into the Third Window Films brand perfectly, so we are incredibly happy to present:

Nagisa Isogai (磯谷 渚 - Aged 28) - 2 films: My Baby (わたしの赤ちゃん - 16mm / 16mins) / The Lust of Angels (天使の欲望 - HD / 40mins)

Hirobumi Watanabe (渡辺紘文 Aged 31) - And the Mud Ship Sails Away (そして泥船はゆく - HD / 88mins)

Kosuke Takaya (髙谷監督 - Aged 27) - Buy Bling, Get One Free (シャレ番外地 - 35mm / 27mins) - (This film is part of a Japanese government initiative from an organisation called VIPO who run a project called 'New Directions in Japanese Cinema'. Every year they work with 5 first time directors and make 30 minute films on 35mm!) 

This release is a limited edition set of only 1,000 copies presented as a DUAL FORMAT release and includes BOTH a BLU-RAY and a DVD of the films, as well as a separate extras disc (on DVD) which will include interviews with all the directors involved as well as legendary Godzilla producer Shogo Tomiyama who was supervisor for this year's VIPO New Directions in Japanese Cinema project from which 'Buy Bling, Get One Free!' comes from.

Release date November 24, 2014

Special Features:
3 Disc Limited Edition of 1,000 copies - Dual Format release with cardboard slipcase.
“Interviews with all 3 directors as well as a focus on the Visual Industry Promotion Organization (VIPO) and their New Directions in Japanese Cinema project

Nagisa Isogai

Student Film: MY BABY 
Watashi no Aka-chan - 2010/color/stereo/16min/16mm

Heavily pregnant Hatsumi and her sister Chika visit a shrine to pray for a safe birth, but in a tragic turn of events, Hatsumi tumbles down the stairs and loses the baby.

6 months later, Chika's baby is safely born and when Hatsumi visits Chika she finds out that Chika named her daughter Aoi, which happened to be the name Hatsumi chose for her own baby...

What terrible secrets are hidden from their past and what lies ahead for these two?

Mid-Length Debut: THE LUST OF ANGELS 
Tenshu no Yokubo - 2013/colour/stereo/40min

Saori, a school girl, is molested on the notorious "molester train" of the Hanagawa line and rescued by another school girl who witnesses the act. The girl who rescues her turned out to be a new student of Yamashiro Gakuen high school, which Saori also attends. The mysterious new student Yuriko, is rumoured to be a "parent killer".
Yuriko then leads Saori and her friends to hunt molesters.

Confronting their own desires, they go out of control. After a shocking encounter and separation between the two high school girls, their desires never to meet and reconcile, like train tracks never to cross. Those desires lead to a horrific end.

Hirobumi Watanabe

Soshite dorobune wa yuku - 2013/colour/stereo/88min

Hirobumi Watanabe’s feature debut was made by a crew of four & their families & friends on a budget of less than £3,000!

Takashi (Kiyo Shibukawa from Blue Spring), 36 years old and unemployed, is completely aimless. He lives with his grandmother, repeating the same routine - game center, bowling center, watching TV - day after day. This suddenly changes when Yuka shows up, claiming to be his half-sister. Confronted with a new situation, Takashi finally makes a decision. Whether it is a good one, remains to be seen.

Kosuke Tayaka

Oshare Bangaichi - 2013/colour/stereo/27min/35mm

After being dumped by his girlfriend while on a date Kamono Naoto gets really down. ‘What’s wrong with my fashion?’ he wonders as he’s told off for being embarrassingly over-the-top with his see-through jacket, feather shorts and patterned pantyhose. Nobody understands his fashion. Neither his friends nor even a writer for a fashion magazine he likes.
One day though a man offers him to become a fashion model exclusively for one brand and to become a fashion leader, a dreamlike opportunity. In a trance Kamono follows this man to enter a strange and unimaginable world…

Visual Industry Promotion Organization (VIPO) / New Directions in Japanese Cinema

VIPO operates ndjc were commissioned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs as part of its policy to promote Japanese film and film-making. The project focuses on talented young film-makers to give them the real film-making skills through workshops, imparting the necessary knowledge and techniques to polish their film-making techniques and creativity. The long-term goal is to discover and foster the next generation of feature-length film directors. Since 2006 to 2013, there have been a total of 43 film-makers.

MAYHEM Festival - Day 3.Super Saturday!

And so it was onto Saturday, A fully packed programme with the 1st film starting at 12pm and the last film starting at 11:30pm. The day started with Dead Snow 2 which I had already seen plus the fact that I had a leak at home and had to wait in for a new toilet and sink to be delivered! I Really wanted to see Starry Eyes at 2pm but no signs of delivery but my good lady Emma bless her who had brought a pass for the weekend said "Go see it, I'm bound to be there for 4pm showing of Housebound" which we both really wanted to see and she made it! So i got my coat on and legged it to the bus stop and i was on my way to Day 3 and Starry Eyes. I arrived on my own and couldn't see any signs of our folks so just waited on the stairs. You could tell that there were considerably more people there than the previous nights and that remained the case all day and indeed for Sunday. I picked a seat for myself then looked down the cinema to see myself being waved at by Natalie and the group who had saved me and Emma some seats, I explained why she wasn't here and she had literally just texted me saying stuff had been delivered  so she'll be there  for 4! On to Starry Eyes.

My 1st film of the day was Starry Eyes and what a film it was! The short introduction by Chris Cooke he mentioned the leading lady Alex Essoe was an actress to watch, what a great performance she puts in and definitely a talent to watch and she was 100%  mesmerising. It tells the tale of her character Sarah trying to make it big in Hollywood and she is pretty much willing to do anything to get the roles she wants but in an innocent sad way, Fully trusting in human nature, Unaware of how depraved and cunty people can be. But the thing about Sarah is that she's not your usual brash Hollywood starlet far from it, If anything she is more like the classic character Carrie. Her friends are all party animals and she tries her hardest to fit in but never quite does. She uploads her profile online and gets a call from some folks making a new horror movie. She attends the 1st audition which is a little strange but she feels she doesn't quite make it and has a fit in the toilet that results in her starting to pull out her own hair, Unknown to her at the time the lady from the audition panel was standing outside the cubicle and asks her to come back and perform her fit in front of them, Odd to say the very least. They say they will be in touch and indeed they do. She gets a call for a second audition where if you think the 1st one was weird wait until you see the 2nd one. I shan't really say much more as it will probably spoil it which i don't want to as you need to see this. The violence is ramped up incredibly towards the end with some real wow gore moments. A very high recommend indeed and as Mr Cooke said Keep your eyes out for Alex Essoe, Definitely a star in the making but hopefully she hasn't gone through what she did in this!!

So up next was Housebound a horror comedy from New Zeland, The film opens up with an hilarious failed attempt at trying to rob a cash machine. The man and woman get arrested and the girl gets put on a tag and is sentenced to spend 9 months under house arrest at her mother's. Not too bad you would think except for the fact that her mother lives way out of any town with no cable TV and dial up internet which when she tries to use it blows up the PC! Her mother is convinced there is a ghost in the house. Her daughter who is quite an obnoxious character just thinks her mum is a loon. Until the girl herself starts hearing things......
I loved housebound. The humour was the dry  NZ style as seen in the Pete Jackson classic Braindead.You could tell from the reaction from the audience it was a huge hit. It drops a little in the middle but don't let that put you off as the ending has a cracking pay off!

Next up was Scary Shorts. A selection of horror shorts selected exclusively by the folks that run mayhem. This is always a great hit and also breaks up very well having to watch a full length movie. My favourite was One featuring the always brilliant Michael Berrymen as a demented ice cream man who swaps ice cream for fingers provided by children and weirdly donated by children. Opens up showing an apparently perfect all American family with mum prepping dinner with a constant sound of "Chop chop chop" and the mum just grinning very similar to the sound garden video black hole sun. I'll try and find out a bit more info on these shorts and post a future blog hopefully referring to all of them as they were brilliant!

Next up was The Canal at 9pm, From what I had read synopsis wise it sounded very similar to Sinister from a couple of years back, Guy moves into new house, Guy finds old movie, Shit happens. But it's darker than that, a hell of a lot darker. He is a film archivist that is asked to go through some old films and realises that the murders took place in his home , Shocked by this revelation he tells his wife and delves deeper whilst she seems soooo much in love with him things are not what they seem, He see things, Things become really fucked up, Sinister? No it's not, It pisses all over Sinister!!
In attendance were director Ivan Kavanagh and producer Anne Marie Naughton. Now, Like I say I can't really tell you too much about The Canal without spoiling it but I can say that the performances and direction were great, It proudly wears it's horror influences on it's sleeve. I noticed a few J-Horror influences and the talk after was great, Especially director Ivan Kavanagh revealing the fact that the toilet scene is actually a real location and not a stage set, see it and you know what I mean. A great movie.

And that was to be for me "Good night Vienna" Stagefright was the end movie, At 11:30 and to be honest it had been a long day with all the house hold plumbing chaos but I heard from folks the day after that the showing was great. I've it on a couple of occasions and it is great but by that time and TCM on Halloween an old fart like me needed to crash out and be fresh and ready for Sunday!

Saturday, 8 November 2014


Day 2 of MAYHEM was upon us and it was Halloween! Today's movies were Coherence , The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014) and a very special screening of the 40th anniversary of the remastered Texas Chainsaw Massacre,hell yeah!

We met again in the bar had a couple of beers and summed up last nights movies and discussed what was on tonight, Pretty much all of us said that does anyone know what Coherence is about or if it's supposed to be any good and non of us knew. Now I must say that as with every year at Mayhem you tend to find not the normal horror festival circuit movies but obscure new titles that generally turn out to be pretty good. So, Full plastic beer glass in hand we headed off to watch Coherence......

The Poster for Coherence said "REARRANGE YOUR BRAIN" And you do have to indeed, but not in the way that it's so ridiculous that it makes no sense unless your only movie viewing experiences ever were The Fast and the Furious movies then you would be fucked!
It tells the story of a few friends who get together for a diner party on the night of the biggest comet passing over earth in many years. There is the mention of the Tunguska comet passing over many many years before and it had an effect on people of wiping their memories and sent a lot of people into mass confusion. Then amongst the jollyness all the lights go out. They look down the road to see if the rest of the neighbourhood is in darkness and it is apart from one way off house that still has it's lights on. One of the party go to investigate and upon arrival discovers that is the exact same house that he just left and not only that it's got all the same people in the house, even him! He returns to the original house to tell them what he thinks he may or may not have seen and this it where it start bending your brain, Things such as a girl on the way to the party her phone just randomly cracks as does a guys at the party, One of the party bangs his head and needs a plaster and is asked which type "Cloth or Plastic?" he chooses cloth, He also goes to try and find out what the hell is going on outside and when he return in one of the party notices that his plaster is now plastic, although he knows everyone the big question is, is he who he says he is? Or are any of them? MIND BENT! Brilliant film though, Definitely looking forward to seeing it again and noticing all the subtle but extremely well  put together differences.

Next up at 8PM was the re-imagining of The Town That Dreaded Sundown, When I 1st saw this was on I thought it was just a straight up remake but it was actually in all fairness a sequel. Set in modern day it tells the tale that many years after the original murders the phantom killer has returned. Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon best known for his work on American Horror Story and errr Glee! The 1st half of the film I thought was pretty solid with lots of flashbacks to the 1st movie or set of events as you could say. Some great kills including the classic trombone kill but I did feel without giving anything away that the ending did let it down quite a lot. Don't get me wrong the ending is a great idea it's just the fact that it has been done so many times before. Shame really as like I said the 1st half was pretty solid. And then came the time, 10:30PM time for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre!

So the time for the film to takes us to midnight on Halloween was to be The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 40th Remastered version. Now I'm not going to review TCM but if you have never seen it 1-Where have you Been? and 2-This is the version you need to get. Over the years I have own many versions as you probably have of TCM from the dodgy bootleg VHS that used to be sold under tables at film fairs when it was still banned, When it was released on DVD I owned and still do 3 versions, I got a Blu-Ray player and brought it for that. So when I saw that it was being released yet again I thought sod that, But hold your'e horses this version is stunning. I was fortunate enough to see it on the big screen a few years back and with most films its a completely different experience seeing it big. The thing that struck me about this was the restoration is incredible. I was talking with David Flint afterwards on the way back down to the bar and we both mentioned how we had seen things in detail wise that we had never noticed before. So when the film finished and Leatherfaces chainsaw and the screams of Marilyn was still ringing in our ears the whole cinema was in silence for a good 5 seconds. Then you could hear people letting out breaths of relief and the whole place clapped. For a film of 40 years still to have the impact it does is an incredible feat indeed.
All done for Halloween and at 12:45 AM we headed off home through Nottingham city centre to our Taxi whilst dodging drunken zombies, Frankensteins and Dracula's. Yet again another fantastic Halloween night at MAYHEM.
Jonny T.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

MAYHEM FESTIVAL DAY 1. Astron-6 Total Mayhem!

Well I can't believe that it's been a whole week since the start of MAYHEM festival but what a festival it was! I started the day by having a lay in with a nice cuppa and a choccy biscuit whilst watching The House That Bled To Death from the classic Hammer House of Horror box set. During the course of the day with back and forth communications we arranged to meet In the café bar at around 5.30.All ready to go! There was slight trepidation around the 1st night being solely a night focused solely on Astron-6. On my arrival a Broadway cinema it was clear that all the pre festival fears of the opening night not being that busy were well and truly put to rest, it was extremely busy. We went and grabbed a beer and met up with the great folks I'd been speaking to online, We then picked up another beer to take into the cinema (how great is it that you can do that!) got our seats 7 in a row and not only were we set for the night but for the whole weekend.

The night was set up to be 2 parts the 1st part being a collection of Astron-6 shorts, The the 2nd part of the night being a showing of their feature length love letter to Giallo that was The Editor. It has to be said that the shorts were hilarious, Even before they started people were in stitches with an introduction from the guys themselves. The shorts consisted of loads of different genres and influences all made incredibly well. What was even more impressive was hearing them talk about how basically they had no budget and scraped everything together from friends and families. What impressed me the most was how professional they all looked.The humour and the attention to detail were so spot on. My favourite short on the night has to be Inferno of the Dead, Pure zombie fan boy stuff but also pure genius in kind of questioning the zombie genre. But also outstanding was Cool Guys and the various GoreBlade shorts, So that was the 1st part of the evening and it was a roll in the isles hilarious smash hit start to the night. Back to the bar for another beer then back for The Editor.


So armed with more beer we headed back up to view The Editor. Now I thought after seeing the shorts that it would be good but it more than exceeded my expectations I must say! The great thing about it was that even if you have seen many a Giallo or not it worked extremely well on both levels, Telling the classic slasher type tale of the black gloved killer, Big moustaches and lots of nakedness and gore, it  hit every point spot on and it's a very high recommend from me.My particular favourite homage moments were from the Lucio Fulci classic The Beyond, I won't spoil what parts they were but keep your eyes out for them, brilliant.

 I Really do hope it gets a release soon as not only does this damn well deserve it but I really want to see it again! I'm not sure how the whole DVD distribution deals work but honestly folks some of the horror stuff being released at present is utter crap and this stands head and shoulders above those releases and believe me The Editor is destined to become a solid gold cult classic!Also showing after at 11:30 was Let Us Pray, Which sounded like it was going to be great but unfortunately I couldn't make it to this particular movie, A demonic stranger locked up in a police cell for the night with evil plans, From what I heard it was a bit of a slow burner but got a unanimous thumbs up from all the people I knew who had seen it.
So in summing up day one Mayhem lured people in with mostly the unknown of Astron-6 and sent them home with smiles on their faces and a nostalgic glow in their horror harts, A fantastic start to a fantastic festival,
Jonny T.
The Editor- Official Trailer.