A.C. Film Club #35 – The Forest of Love + Violence Voyager


Episode #35 now available as we check out Sion Sono‘s Netflix exclusive The Forest of Love in which a trio of film makers set out to make a film about a suspected serial killer only to soon find themselves drawn into his elabourate schemes.

We also have an advance screening of the uniquly animated Violence Voyager, question the current state of asian horror, listener mail and the countdown to Halloween plus much more!!

Further Viewing

Love Exposure
Cure
Memories of Murder

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A.C. Film Club #34 – The Terrorizers

Stephen introduces Elwood to New Taiwan Cinema with Edward Yang’s “The Terrorizers” following three groups of people living in Taipei echoing Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blowup.

Further Viewing

Brighter Summer Day
Millenium Mambo
The Wayward Cloud

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Violence Voyager

One of the great things as an avid movie watcher is to learn that you still capable of being surprised by a directors vision and wow what a vision that Japanese animator Ujicha brings to the screen for his follow up to his debut film Burning Buddha Man from 2013 as here he continues to develop his trademark Gekimation animation style in which paper dolls are used while being combined with practical elements such as water and slime the latter in particular making this a certainly memorable experience.

Following two boys an American called Bobby and his best friend Akkun who set out for the nearby mountains with plans to build a secret hideout only along the way to stumble across the mysterious amusement park called Violence Voyager. Here the boys are offered the chance run around the park shooting water pistols at cutout of robot warriors which initially feels like a disappointment to the boys as they find themselves drawn in with an intro spiel which sounds like it was put together by whoever sells movies to the SYFY channel. Despite this they still manage to have fun but soon discover when it’s time to leave that the bridge they crossed is missing and the true intentions of the parks owner Koike for who the park is really just a front for his mad scientist style experiments with bio-engineering.

Tapping into a wide range of influences bringing to mind the bio-mechanical horror of Tetsuo: The Iron Man and the splatter of old school anime like Genocyber all while seemingly aiming to recreate the uncanny valley tone of David Lynch’s Eraserhead or Dave Borthwick’s Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb more so when performances seem to often be designed to never allow the viewer to get comfortable in this world full of unusual characters and even stranger creations once we enter into the depths of Koike’s lab were his centre piece is a giant mass of pulsating flesh whose protuding tenticle provides a food course for his cyborg army like a mother bird feeding her young.

For a journey packed which appears to be aiming to throw as much weirdness, grotesque monsters and slime at the screen as possible the story is actually surprisingly coherent which normally not something we get to say when viewing movies like this which seem to often to be revealing in baffling the viewer as much as they unnerve them. This is not to say that the film is without it’s suprises especially when it ends with what almost feels like Ujicha is announcing the arrival of a new superhero as further adventures are hinted at though wether Ujicha chooses to expand on this story remains to be seen.

For all it’s attempts to repulse the viewer with its unflinching gore and disturbing imagery this is unquestionably a beautifully animated film with the Gekimation style really only making the film stand out further as it looks like a comic book brought to life and with each of the characters hand drawn often in multiple poses or expression especially when the characters mouths don’t move and it really makes you wonder how long it took to create these effects, while the use of practical effects for the shooting of acid jets or slimey excretions work surprisingly well with the format often adding such much needed charm subtle lightness to a pretty dark and grotesque story.

While it won’t be for all tastes it will certainly appeal to those who have been looking for something to pair with Fantastic Planet aswell as the animation fans looking for a throwback to the no holds barred animation of the late 80’s and early 90’s as Ujicha marks himself out as a talent to watch.

Violence Voyager is unquestionably a weird ride but one that’s worth taking if only for the experience.

Rating: 4 / 5

Violence Voyager is set to be released on October 21st through DarkCoast Films and will be available via digital streaming platforms (Amazon, DirecTV, FlixFling, VImeo on Demand, Vudu, FANDANGO and AT&T)

A.C. Film Club #31 – Eastern Condors


Elwood and Stephen look at Eastern Condors as Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao team up with the an all-star cast as a squad of convicts are sent to Vietnam to destroy a secret ammo dump, while Sammo gets to tap into his inner Rambo!

Also on this episode Batman Ninja, The story behind the Korean Godzilla and Yuen Biao’s boy band hair and more!!

Further Viewing

Cow
Heroes Shed No Tears
Bullet In The Head
Millionares Express
The Prodigal Son

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A.C. Film Club #30 – Sword of Vengeance

We are joined by Author / Podcaster (The Bonus Material Podcast) aswell as three-time International Horror Guild Award Nominee Thom Carnell to discuss the first film in the long running Lone Wolf and Cub series as Ogami Ittō, a disgraced executioner turned wandering assassin for hire and his young son Daigoro journey through the land they call hell.

A key inspiration for Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill aswell as John Carpenter’s Big Trouble In Little China we look at the series aswell as the pop samurai genre. Thom also reveals his writing process, aswell as highlighting some of his favourite Asian cinema titles in an episode which is heavy on recommendations, so make sure you keep a pad handy!

Check out Thom’s writing / books at – http://www.thomcarnell.com/

Further Viewing

The Samurai Trilogy
Sleepy Eyes of Death Saga
Zatoichi
Hanzo the Razor trilogy
Ninja Scroll
Ninja Resurrection}
Lady Snowblood
Azumi
13 Assassins

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A.C. Film Club #29 – Dead Or Alive

We revisit Takashi Miike’s outlaw period in perticular the uttlerly bonkers “Dead or Alive” which not only feature one of the most shocking openings ever but an equally bonkers finale as Riki Takeuchi’s crime boss and Show Aikawa’s dirty cop face off in the first film of the trilogy.

We also look at Miike’s outlaw period and highlight some of our favourites, discuss our favourite genre critics and much more!!

Further Viewing

Dead or Alive: Birds
Dead or Alive: Final
Gun Crazy: A Woman From Nowhere
The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji
The Mole Song: Hong Kong Capriccio

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