Japanese horror icon Takashi Miike is consistently working, having racked up a total of 99 directing credits on IMDB since 1991. His next film to be released on DVD and Blu-Ray, Over Your Dead Body, has unleashed a new clip. The film stars Ko Shibasaki, Hitomi Katayama and Hideaki Itô. It tells the following story:
A star, Miyuki Goto (Ko Shibasaki) plays Oiwa, the protagonist in a new play based on the ghost story Yotsuya Kaidan. She pulls some strings to get her lover, Kosuke Hasegawa (Ebizo Ichikawa) cast in the play, even though he’s a relatively unknown actor. Other performers Rio Asahina (Miho Nakanishi) and Jun Suzuki (Hideaki Ito) lust after Miyuki. Off stage the cast’s possessive love and obsessions exist as reality. Trapped between the play and reality, the cast’s feelings for each other are amplified. When it becomes clear that love is not meant to be both on and off stage, love turns into a grudge and crosses the blurred line between reality and fantasy. -Toronto International Film Festival
The film looks like another hit from Miike. His provocative and often times extremely violent themes are trademarks in his work, often leading to unadulterated bone chilling terror. The clip released appears to be from a dream sequence. The delicate sound design is wonderful, as it shows what the focus is by making the large garbage bagged walls sound almost silent, but Miyuki’s whispers as loud as a trains whistle. This kind of subtle symbolic gesture is the type of work you’d expect from a Miike film.
No one knows where Takashi finds the time to make so many films, but he has a real knack for creating chilling and disturbing tales. From Ichi the Killer to Audition, his films hold themselves to a high standard, which is not easily attainable. It’s a work ethic that some people may call insane, but his work is his life. If Takashi does not create, then Takashi does not live. It’s a true artists calling if the cannot put down their paintbrush. We aren’t saying everyone needs to adopt his mindset, but it is something intriguing and worth noting. Anyone who want to make films or art in general must know the sacrifices that are necessary, and no one knows that more than Takashi “There are so many ways to become a director. If there is a 1 – 10 scale for talent, then a 10 point talent is a director, but a 1 point person can also become a director if he has the talent to make the right contacts. In motorbike racing on the other hand the winner is always an extreme talent. Even if we train a lot we can’t beat them. I admire that kind of world. But I didn’t have a choice. I never thought about becoming a director before. I considered the occupation of film director as being for the intelligentsia“. -Takashi Miike (IMDB)
We Are Indie Horror writer Carlos Menjivar has a few words to add about Miike‘s latest.
Japanese director Takashi Miike, has piqued my interest since his break into the international spotlight with his audacious and eerie Audition a tale of wrong choices and intentions that ultimately lead to very bad consequences; the film is engrossingly brutal and unsettling, and difficult to look away from. Miike is also behind the two crime films, the yakuza film Dead or Alive and the graphically violent and bloody Ichi the Killer, which puts the elevator sequence in The Cabin in the Woods to shame with the amount of blood and limbs splattered on the walls like a Jackson Pollock. I’ve mentioned those three films, to hopefully inspire you, if you haven’t already done so, check out this talented director. I only mention three of his films, because he’s been around and has around 100 credits to his name as director, in TV and film, and almost never goes a year without
directing two or more films– busy man.
But his up-and-coming film, soon to be released on Bluray/DVD, Over Your Dead Body, is the focus of this article. Over Your Dead Body is about stage actors adapting the 1825 Kabuki ghost story, Yotsuya Kaidan, but as love on and off the stage blurs distinction between reality and the stage things become strange and eerie, with reality becoming tenuous and unstable amidst the reflections of art. Yotsuya Kaidan, is a popular ghost story full of murder, sex, and revenge, that has been adapted many times in film and on stage.
Miike’s remake is interesting because it is a self-reflexive take on the classic Japanese play which blends reality with entertainment. The film is no mere adaptation, adding an extra layer by having a story set where the actors are making a play. Watching the trailer, you can’t tell what is real and what is part of the fantasy. Either way, this should be an interesting film, and it looks as visually striking as it is atmospheric. See for yourself, check out the trailer!
Over Your Dead Body has been making the festival circuit since 2014 and has played at Toronto Film Festival, AFI Fest, Abertoir Horror Festival, and Film4 FrightFest
There’s no doubt after having watched so many of his films, that Over Your Dead Body is going to be nothing short of brilliant. The year starts off right with Over Your Dead Body dropping on January 5 on DVD and Blu-Ray via Scream Factory