Friday, April 23, 2010

More on Oshii's Assault Girls

Mamoru Oshii is a legendary Japanese director, whose best-known work is the groundbreaking anime movie (and subsequent franchise) Ghost in the Shell and the excellent live-action sci-fi film Avalon. For some time we've been reporting on his follow-up to the latter, Assault Girls [aka Asaruto gâruzu], which was released in Japan at the end of last year.

The story is a re-visiting of Oshii's central concept of a virtual reality game as utilised in Avalon.
The characters are players of a revolutionary game, Avalon, in which players dive into a virtual world in artificial bodies modeled after their own. The goal is to advance to higher levels by destroying gigantic snake monsters. Players of this game include Colonel and Lucifer, as well as new acquaintances Gray (Meisa Kuroki) and Jäger (Yoshikatsu Fujiki). (Source)

See this previous Undead Backbrain article for more details.

The following extract from an article on the Miccokoivisto blog gives a good outline of the film's background:
The history of Assault Girls can be traced back to 2006, when Oshii directed a film called The Amazing Lives of the Fast Food Grifters. This animation feature was considered too obscure for wider international distribution. In Japan, however, it spun a 25 minute live action spin off The Women of Fast Food (2006), which was followed by feature length sequel Shin onna tachiguishi retsuden (2007). It was in this episode film that Assault Girl made her debut. The sci-fi story followed a female warrior, Colonel (Hinako Saeki), fighting gigantic snake creatures on a deserted planet. Assault Girl 2 was released next year as a part of the episode film Kill. Unrelated to the original and leaning more towards art house than action, Assault Girl 2 depicted the symbolic fight between the archangels Michael (Yoko Fujita) Lucifer (Rinko Kikuchi). A feature length extension of the concept, Assault Girls is a combination of its predecessors, as well as Oshii’s 2001 movie Avalon.

Original Short Film:

Behind-the-Scenes pics:

Music Video (with Assault Girls):

Other Random Images:

  • Images collected by Avery Guerra

Low-budget Superhero Antics

In this age of multi-squillion dollar SFX-driven superhero blockbusters, which have been inordinately successful in retrieving the superhero film from obscurity, it's not usual to see a low-budget independent feature film based on superhero traditions appear. Prolific B-film auteur, Brett Kelly's latest film, however, is just such a beast. It's called Avenging Force: The Scarab and is due to premiere at a screening on the 26th April.

Here's the initial teaser trailer, which was produced back when the film was called simply The Scarab:

Now check out the newly released trailer:

Images: Lots of BIFFING!

Here the Scarab is about to biff director Brett Kelly, obviously due to some directorial instruction he didn't like!

A comic version of the bad guys: Yes, there is a Scarab comicbook!

Check out Brett Kelly's website for details of the premiere -- and BE THERE!
  • Source: via Avery Guerra. Written by Robert Hood.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Death Kappa Trailer

The English-language trailer for Tomoo Haraguchi's daikaiju eiga/giant monster film Death Kappa has just been loosed upon the blogsphere, with the DVD already available for pre-order on Amazon and other sites (due 27 July 2010). Its retro 1960s Japanese fantasy film qualities are very exciting for True Believers, given away in this trailer only by the occasional CGI enhancement.


If nothing else, Haraguchi's CV entries "Gamera daikaijû kuchu kessen (1995) (creature creator)", "Gamera 2: Region shurai (1996) (creature creator)" and director of "Sakuya: yôkaiden (2000)" are enough to interest me.

For more on Death Kappa, the background of the film and a video presentation on it by Haraguchi, go to Undead Backbrain. There are images from the film in an earlier article on this site.