Dig­ging Up The Mar­row

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Rated -

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

2001 | 15 | Dual- for­mat Blu- ray/ DVD Di­rec­tor: Takashi Mi­ike Cast: Kenji Sawada, Keiko Mat­suzaka, Shinji Takeda, Naomi Nishida, Kiyoshirô Imawano, Tet­surô Tanba

To cult film

fans in the west, the rev­e­la­tion that Takashi Mi­ike ( Ichi The Killer) once di­rected a mu­si­cal is like learn­ing that Tarantino’s di­rect­ing the next Smurfs movie.

Nev­er­the­less it hap­pened. And while The Hap­pi­ness Of The Katakuris cer­tainly has its weird and dark mo­ments at heart it’s a very trad mu­si­cal. A burst of “The hills are alive…” would not feel out of place.

The dys­func­tional Katakuris buy a guest house in the moun­tains. Un­for­tu­nately all their guests keep dy­ing. See­ing as this might not be good pub­lic­ity for the place, in­stead of in­form­ing the po­lice, they bury the bod­ies.

In one sense there is no fan­tasy el­e­ment here. How­ever, the mu­si­cal se­quences are of­ten sur­real, plus the film ran­domly leaps into bizarre, gothic stop­mo­tion an­i­ma­tion se­quences that are mini mas­ter­pieces in them­selves. It also fea­tures the best danc­ing zom­bies since “Thriller”. It’s all de­light­fully odd and yet has a truly en­dear­ing, heart­warm­ing el­e­ment to it too.

This is the first time the film’s been avail­able on Blu- ray, and it looks su­perb. There’s a Mi­ike com­men­tary, another by a film critic, and a Mi­ike “vis­ual es­say” by the same guy. You also get an hour- long Mak­ing Of, a brief fea­turette on the clay­ma­tion se­quences, cast and crew in­ter­views, trail­ers and spe­cially com­mis­sioned book­let. Dave Golder Star Kenji Sawada, once lead singer of a band called The Tigers, is a huge Julie An­drews fan.

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

2014 | 15 | DVD

Do you like

Adam Green’s face? You do? Good, be­cause about 78% of this mock­u­men­tary is the Hatchet di­rec­tor look­ing con­fused to cam­era.

Green plays him­self, the di­rec­tor of nu­mer­ous in­die shock­ers. He meets a sup­posed for­mer de­tec­tive ( Ray Wise) who claims he’s found a por­tal to the Mar­row – a realm with real mon­sters. In­trigued, he de­cides to shoot a film. The re­sult is a play­ful cross be­tween Night­breed and Curb Your En­thu­si­asm.

De­spite end­less pro­mo­tion for other Green pro­duc­tions, Mar­row is flimsy fun – if not ac­tu­ally creepy. There are ironic jabs at the found- footage genre, a few amus­ing cameos from the likes of Kane “Jason” Hod­der, and Wise is al­ways watch­able.

Deleted scene, be­hindthe- scenes fea­ture. Will Salmon

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