Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bad Girls and Wild Women, Death Metal and Death Notes

Patrick Macias and TokyoScope return to the Viz Cinema on September 13 with an eye-popping program. In fact, it is being called "TokyoScope Talk Deluxe" - not just a talk but a happy hour and a feature length film screening.

Join host Patrick Macias (Editor, Otaku USA) for a unique look at sexy Stray Cats, Female Prisoners, Delinquent Bosses and other captivating and sexy bad girl roles from Japanese cinema. The evening will be complemented by a theatrical screening of the lurid prison film Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion.

Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion is a 1972 women's prison exploitation/pinky violence film directed by Shunya Itō and starring Meiko Kaji.

If the poster is not enough get you to the Viz on September 13, then maybe the synopsis for Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion will do the trick.

Raped by a gang of yakuza, sacrificed and betrayed by the corrupt cop that she innocently gave her virginity to, Nami Matsushima (played by the stunning Meiko Kaji) finds herself in a women’s prison, watched over by monstrous guards determined to crush her indomitable, vengeful will. Matsu, nicknamed Scorpion by her fellow inmates, seeks not only revenge on the men responsible for her fall from grace, but justice for her tormentors within the prison walls.

TokyoScope Volume 6: Bad Girls and Wild Women!


During the week Hole in the Head played at the Viz, they ran trailers for upcoming films at the Viz. The trailer that got the best audience response was Detroit Metal City. The film is playing at the Viz from September 18 to 27.

Based on the #1 death metal comedy manga series by Kiminori Wakasugi. Negishi (Kenichi Matsuyama) is a sweet and shy young man who dreams of becoming a trendy singer songwriter. But for some reason, he is forced into joining the devil worshiping death metal band “Detroit Metal City” (DMC). In full stage make-up and costume, he transforms into Johannes Krauser II (Sir Krauser) the vulgar-mouthed lead vocalist of the band. Against Negishi’s will, DMC rises to stardom. Now the legendary king of death metal Jack Il Dark (Gene Simmons) himself is challenging DMC to a duel. What is the fate of the innocent Negishi as he climbs to the top of the death metal world?.

Kenichi Matsuyama in Detroit Metal City


In 2008, the San Francisco Internation Asian American Film Festival screened Death Note. Asst. Festival Director Taro Goto wrote the summary that year.

Light Yagami is a brilliant law student who’s disillusioned with Japan’s justice system. One evening, he discovers a mysterious book—dropped by a God of Death—enabling him to kill anyone by writing a name into its pages. Incredulous at first, Light decides to use his newfound gift to execute criminals throughout the world and thereby strike fear into the hearts of evildoers. With crime rates dropping, the public anoints the invisible enforcer a messiah. Police efforts to find the serial killer prove futile, until they’re joined by a cryptic investigator, known only as “L,” who pits his cunning brain against Light’s in a spectacular cat-and-mouse game of one-upmanship.

Death Note is the first of a two-part feature, adapted from the wildly popular manga series of the same title that’s become a phenomenon in Japan and across Asia, even spawning an animated TV series as well as a spin-off movie featuring “L.” Director Shusuke Kaneko, a veteran of the Gamera series and other sci-fi action fare, abridges the byzantine plot of the original without sacrificing any of its mind-bending intricacies, and inserts enough unexpected twists to keep even the most avid fan on their toes. That the film avoids any profound discussion of the ethics of vigilantism is easy to forgive when you’re busy keeping up with a grip­ping battle of wits for the ages.

I recall enjoying the film. It was screened at the Castro to a crowded house. I assumed SFIAAFF would screen the second part in 2009. They did not. Nor did they screen it in 2010. For 2½ years, I've wondered how the story ends. The waiting can end on September 4 with the screening Death Note and Death Note II: The Last Name. In addition to the screening, New People is selling a 3 CD, Blue-ray package including both films plus 2 hours of behind-the-scenes footage and admission to screenings of Death Note and Death Note II: The Last Name. If you don't want the CDs, admission to the films is $10 each or $15 for both.


[1] Cronin, Sarah (2009-04-01). Electric Sheep Magazine

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