Fantastic Asia Film Festival Highlights

Milocrorze a Love Story is totally off its brain. One moment it’s cute Amelie style quirk, the next hardcore revenge samurai, the next in mines the surreal wrongness of Chris Morris. Then those worlds collide. Brimming with pop culture references from Miyazaki to Mad Max, it won best fantastic film at Fantastic film fest in Austin and it has a logic all its own, a peculiar surreal genius that defies words, sense or any connection with reality. With high-energy dance scenes, absurd fables and brutal violence, this is a very strange take on the perils of love.

Pink film is a style of Japanese soft-core that began in the 60’s, and almost died out in 80’s with advent of adult video. Yet it has kicked and spluttered on since then, gaining wider acclaim in the last decade. Sex and Zen Extreme Ecstasy 3d is a big budget update on the sleazy erotic trilogy from the 90’s. With lavish costumes and an abundance of carnal activity, the story is based on a 17th century novel the Carnal Prayer Mat, the same text as the original Sex and Zen, which caused a sensation when it was released in 1991. Subsequent sequels failed live up to the promise of the original, however perhaps enough time has passed to reboot the series, and to be fair even if it’s terrible the concept of a 3D erotic film could raise a few, uh, eyebrows.

FAFF closes with another recent entry into the Pink genre, Underwater Love, a German Japanese co production and promises to be very very bizarre.

“It’s really really fantastic,” suggests FAFF director Neil Foley. “It’s like a Pinku melodic soft porn musical and the music is by Stereo Total, the German electronic act. It’s a famous Pinku director with famous Australian arthouse cinematographer Christopher Doyle (In The Mood For Love).” The story is about a fish factory worker who begins to question her recent engagement when she is visited by a former lover in the shape of a half man half turtle. “It’s sweet, cute and fluffy with stacks of fucking,” laughs Foley.

Then there are classy films like Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead, which is pretty much self-explanatory. It’s apparently disgusting, and absolutely hilarious. It recently won an audience award at Fantastic Fest in Austin, so it’s also a real crowd pleaser.

Tomie Unlimited is the 9th film in the Tomie series about an evil high school student who just wont die. It was directed by Noboru Iguhi who had previously directed the totally insane body splatter Machine Girl, which means it starts excessive then escalates to near hysterical levels. The final 20 minutes are mind numbing.

Speaking of escalation welcome to the blood drenched Helldriver from director Yoshihiro Niishimura, the lunatic behind Tokyo Gore Police one, of the best of Japan’s recent body horror films. It’s seedy zombie film with a difference, filled with all kinds of wrongness like zombies attacking the living by kneeling down in rows, whilst another zombie gets behind them with a machete and golf style tees off, sending hundreds of their chomping heads flying through the air. It’s a film that delights in dismembered body parts flying through the air or even being made into vehicles. It’s nuts. When they start flinging around attacking zombie babies still attached to the umbilical chord you know they mean business.


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