SciFi Japan

    Japanese Cult Classics GOKE and HOUSE at the Egyptian Theatre

    Horror Double Feature in Hollywood on September 23 Source: American Cinematheque Special Thanks to Chris D and Kevin Pyrtle

    On September 23, the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, CA presents two rarely seen Japanese horror cult classics; Toho`s 1977 fantasy masterpiece HOUSE and Shochiku`s 1968 sci-fi terror GOKE, BODYSNATCHER FROM HELL. Neither film is available on R1 DVD, and both will be shown in their original Japanese language with English subtitles. The screenings are preceded by a booksigning at 6:30 PM with author Chris Desjardins and his re-released book Outlaw Masters of Japanese Film, a detailed look at Japanese cult, action and exploitation cinema from the early 1950s to the present day. The Egyptian Theatre is located at 6712 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood CA 90028. Ticket prices to the theater are $10.00 general, $8.00 students and seniors, and $7.00 for American Cinematheque members. Tickets can be purchased at the theater box office, and by using Complete ordering instructions, parking info, and directions are available on the Egyptian Theatre website. Wednesday, September 23 - 7:30 PM Japanese Cult Classics Double Feature HOUSE (Hausu, 1977) Directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi, Written by Chiho Katsura and Nobuhiko Obayashi, Starring Kimiko Ikegami, Kumiko Oba, Ai Matsubara, Miki Jinbo, Yoko Minamida, Saho Sasazawa, Haruko Wanibuchi, Eriko Tanaka, Masayo Miyako, and Mitsutoshi Ishigami.

    A teenager named Oshare (Kimiko Ikegami) can’t wait to spend the summer with her recently-widowed father… until he informs her that he plans to remarry. She decides to go away with six female friends to visit an estranged aunt`s secluded mansion. But, unbeknownst to the girls, the aunt is immortal and can only remain that way by feeding on virgins. Her evil house does the killing for her. The schoolgirls experiences bizarre hallucinations before they are picked off one by one and literally devoured by the haunted house in inventive and bizarre ways. A satirical take on the traditional haunted house story packed with over-top-visuals and odd touches of comedy, HOUSE has become a cult classic in Japan but only recently surfaced in America. It was the feature film debut of experimental director Nobuhiko Obayashi, who has helmed more than 2,000 Japanese television commercials, many of which featured foreign celebrities such as Sophia Loren, Charles Bronson, and Catherine Deneuve. He went on to direct, write, and produce a wide range of movies including the detective thriller THE ADVENTURES OF KOSUKE KINDAICHI (Kindaichi Kosuke no Boken, 1980), the gender-bending TRANSFER STUDENT (Tenkosai, 1982), the science fiction tale THE DRIFTING CLASSROOM (Hyoryu Koshitsu, 1987), the ghost story THE DISCARNATES (Ijintachi Tono Natsu, 1988), the aspiring rock band drama THE ROCKING HORSEMEN (Seishun Dendekedekedeke, 1992), the family film SAMURAI KIDS (Mizu no Tabibito: Samurai Kids, 1996), SADA (1998), and THE MOTIVE (Riyu, 2005), a murder mystery adapted from Miyuki Miyabe`s best-selling novel. Obayashi has also directed two film trilogies based on his hometown of Onomichi. Obayashi also co-wrote HOUSE`s screenplay— based on an idea given to the director by his then 11-year-old daughter— and supervised the special effects, which won the award for "Best Visual Effects" at the 23rd Asian Film Festival. Janus Films, 87 min. GOKE, BODYSNATCHER FROM HELL (Kyuketski Gokemidoro, 1968) Directed by Hajime Sato, Written by Susumu Takaku and Kyuzo Kobayashi, Starring Teruo Yoshida, Tomomi Sato, Hideo Ko, Eizo Kitamura, Masaya Takahashi, and Kathy Horan.

    An Air Japan flight en route to Itami Airport in Osaka has some spectacularly bad luck. A flock of birds crashes into the jet, and the crew receives a bomb threat. When co-pilot Ei Sugisaka (Teruo Yoshida) and a flight attendant Kuzumi Asakura (Tomomi Sato) search for the bomb, they spook professional assassin Hirobumi Teraoka (Hideo Ko) who attempts to hijack the airplane. As things go from bad to worse, a huge flying saucer passes by and disrupts the plane’s controls. After the jet crashes in desolate mountain range, Sugisaka tries to control the panic but can’t keep several passengers from wandering off and promptly getting invaded by creeping blue alien blobs called Gokemidoro that turn them into vampiric killers. As the terror mounts the survivors begin to turn on one another… Opening with a shot of a jetliner against an ominously orange sky (to which Quentin Tarantino paid homage in KILL BILL, VOL.1), GOKE, BODY SNATCHER FROM HELL immediately establishes a sense of unease. The film was directed by Hajime Sato, a Toei Company veteran whose credits include THE GOLDEN BAT (Ogon Batto, 1966) and TERROR BENEATH THE SEA (Kaitei Daisenso, 1966). Sato moved to Shochiku Co., Ltd. in the late 1960s and returned to his horror roots with GOKE, one of the scariest 1960s sci-fi/horror films with a blend of surreal visuals and a 1950s-style storyline. Janus Films, 84 min.

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