VFF ’12: Introducing Sushi Typhoon’s Brand of J-Horror

by Ed Sum Sushi Typhoon is a collective group of directors, actors, producers, and writers who have a different interpretation of what J-Horror is. Not only are they a distribution label, but they are also owned by Nikkatsu Corporation, Japan's oldest existing film studio. Unlike the classics like Ju-on or Ringu, the products coming from this group is more like splatterpunk. That is, these films are often graphically violent, highly satirical and hyperactively kinetic. The movies they make avoid the sublime that is found in Hammer Horror, namely the old British products this studio made during the early 70's. Instead, they often play up the campiness of that subgenre and make a new brand look like "performance art." That is, some of the characters know they are being watched, so they are pole dancing for the viewer. Helldriver is one such recent example that is now available on video. Yoshihiro Nishimura, director of this film and one of the members of the group, is hailed as the "Tom Savini of Japan." His 10+ years of experience have shown his penchant for gore and passion for pop culture. Other names in this team include Takashi Miike (Ichi the Killer), Noboru Iguchi (Machine Girl), Sion Sono (Cold Fish), Tak Sakaguchi (Yoroi: Samurai Zombie) and Yudai Yamaguchi (Battlefield Baseball). Collectively, they have made many films that rivals more than one Western director's complete filmography. One trademark of these films includes the liberal use of blood that splashes across the screen. For first time viewers who are not acquainted with this particular style of bloodletting, Sushi Typhoon's products may come across as bizarre and over the top. When their labyrinth narratives cannot be figured out, the best way to appreciate these movies is to simply turn the brain off and the eye candy meter on. That's all that's needed to enjoy these films. Deadball (Feb 11) and Mutant Girls Squad (Feb 12) both play at 9:30pm are not rated by the MPAA, but they should be considered PG-13.

Sushi Typhoon Label Filmography

Alien vs. Ninja (2010) Cold Fish (2010) Helldriver (2010) Deadball (2011) Karate-Robo Zaborgar (2011) Mutant Girls Squad (2011) Yakuza Weapon (2011)

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