On the Cultural Gutter, I’m writing about apocalyptic scifi and horror from the normally well-behaved Japanese film studio Shochiku. Shochiku was most closely identified with shomin-geki, dramas about the lives of everyday people, and the undisputed master of such films was Shochiku director Yasujiro Ozu. But a studio can only exist for so long onContinue reading “Sci-Fi, Shochiku Style”
This is no unique story. Soul Discharge was the gateway for a lot of people who, like me, saw it one day and wondered what the hell it was.
On the Cultural Gutter, I am Searching for Odin, My Love — one of the most expensive, most lavish, most boring, and most infamous anime flops of all time.
The Japanese entries into the Invisible Man sweepstakes might not have been an official part of the series, but they certainly hold their own against Universal’s films.
Whatever shortcomings Nobuo Nakagawa’s Lady Vampire Has are not enough to counter its chaotic appeal. It may be less gory than his next film, and it may make no sense, but it has an enthusiastic willingness to be weird.
Despite secret lairs and spy gadgets, Asia-pol plays things straight where other Shaw Bros. espionage efforts reveled in the most outlandish sci-fi aspects of spy films.
Mars Men kicks off with a little kid stumbling upon a hidden cave in which he finds a small statue of Yud Wud Jaeng. The kid insists on calling him “Hanamajin”, and the rest of the cast follows suit.
There are many tales of love, bitterness and vengeful ghosts, but like a certain Scottish play, Tokaido Yotsuya Kaidan is unique in having a curse associated with it.
A lone samurai making his way home late at night meets a defenseless woman. So begins the horror of Kaneto Shindô’s tale of ghosts, vengeance, and the wrongs visited upon women by entitled men.
I’ve been sitting here trying to think of an adequate way to describe exactly what it is that Sonny Chiba does and wears in this second film in Kinji Fukasaku’s highly enjoyable, highly influential Battles without Honor and Humanity series of films that delve into the world of organized crime and the role it playedContinue reading “Battles without Honor and Humanity II”
They Were 11 is an interesting take on sci-fi anime from the eighties, and definitely a marked departure from the space operas overflowing from the previous decades and the wham-bam sci-fi actioners that defined the eighties. There is really only one action scene in the entire movie, and that’s a pie fight.
Golgo 13 was (is) a long-running Japanese comic book aimed primarily at bitter guys in dead-end salaryman jobs who harbored daydreams of being tough-as-nails murderous sex machines but, in reality, were just nerdy guys reading a comic book on the train before they started a day full of kissing their boss’s ass and shouting out the company cheer.