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AICN & Twitch Present International Eye Candy: R246 STORY, ASHES OF TIME, SSD, BAJO LA SAL or BENEATH THE SALT, and more!!

International Eye Candy August 6, 2008 Yes, boys and girls, it is once again Todd from Twitch here with a new edition of International Eye Candy. And what is the big news of the past two weeks? How about ONG BAK star Tony Jaa having a total meltdown. And how melty was he? How about going and hiding in a cave for two months when he should have been directing the end of ONG BAK 2? No? Not melty enough? How about coming home and crying on national TV? No? How about going to the local police station to complain that he’s being followed by a car full of guys in safari suits? This, my friends, is how you go about sabotaging your own career. But enough of that … on with the eye candy! Up this week, Brazilian zombies! Russian slashers! Mexican serial killers! Ultraman times eight! Japanese dream detectives! Alien rock-outs! And a cute, fuzzy bunny! (I’m lying about the bunny but the rest of the stuff is in there.) Let’s start with the alien rock and roll, shall we? The project is R246 STORY, a Japanese anthology project that I’ve been all over since it includes just the second ever directorial effort by Japanese mega star Tadanobu Asano, who you probably know from Takashi Miike’s ICHI THE KILLER. But it gets better. Asano’s bit is written by Shinji Aoyama – a brilliant director in his own right who deserves a much larger global following than he has – and in it must engage in a guitar duel with space aliens to reclaim the drum kit that is the source of his power. It goes without saying that the power is awesome. Rock out Japanese-alien style here And here’s a heart-warming slice of family life from the UK, where apparently kidnapping young women and stuffing them into suitcases is an integral part of saying how much you care. Because MUM AND DAD really do care. It’s just that they don’t care about very nice things. Nope, they’re kind of nasty. Okay, really nasty. Okay, pretty brutal. Just don’t tell them I said so. Check the trailer and think how good your family looks by comparison And now for something about as different as is humanly possible. Wong Kar Wai’s ASHES OF TIME has long been one of the Hong Kong director’s most sought after films, mostly because it’s never existed in any remotely presentable form. Not until now, anyway. WKW is a notorious reviser of his own work, constantly fiddling with the edits, so it didn’t come as a huge shock when he announced that he was re-editing his only martial arts film for a new release but, surprise or no, it was a pleasing announcement. And now the new version has come and with it a new trailer that already looks about a zillion times better than any of the currently available DVD editions of this thing. Look at the pretty pictures here You know, sometimes I like to make sure that the films in this column flow smoothly from one to the next, organizing things to follow patterns and trends and such. And sometimes I just like to write about movies featuring kids getting shot through the head with an arrow. Guess what kind of day today is? The film is SSD, the aforementioned Russian slasher, and while it looks like a pretty stock teens-in-the-woods story it also looks pretty exceptionally well done. I’ve written about it in this column before but there’s a brand new full length trailer to check out now. Duck and cover, people. Duck and cover. And, once again, on to something completely different. I’m biased as hell on this one, having brought GENIUS PARTY BEYOND to Toronto for its second-ever screening outside of Japan a couple months back, but this animated anthology is one of the most aptly titled films ever. It is, indeed, genius. Studio 4C have collected the best and brightest of the Japanese animation world and turned them loose to create whatever their hearts desire and the results are spectacular. My personal favorite is the closer – titled DIMENSION BOMB – but there aint a dud to be found. The new trailer shows them all off to great effect. Blow your mind here. Though the rise of Mexican film hasn’t hit quite as hard as people expected with the arrival of Gael Garcia Bernal, Alejandro Innaritu and Guillermo Del Toro the wave continues to rise and the latest to catch the eye is upcoming serial killer thriller BAJO LA SAL or BENEATH THE SALT. You guessed it … preserved corpses turn up in a salt mine and the early buzz is already comparing it to SE7EN. Really impressive on the tech end and the cast is dead solid. You can get digging here. beyondthegrave.gif So … BEYOND THE GRAVE … serial killer movie set in a post apocalyptic world over run by zombies, or a zombie film that also happens to feature a serial killer? Your call. It’s fresh from Brazil, where a major genre boom is just gearing up, and while the budget limitations are evident the creature effects are great and the design of the world – lifted straight from the pages of 1950s, primary colored comic books – is a blast. Have a splattery time here I kind of doubt that there’s a whole lot of actual history in new Korean historical epic THE DIVINE WEAPON but there are a shitload of exploding arrows. And I like exploding arrows. The story? Chinese army of the threshold, superior weaponry needed to hold off the superior numbers, blah blah blah. Good cast, great production design, exploding arrows. That’s what you really need to know. Blow stuff up here Not quite sure how this one snuck up on me but Spanish maverick director Alex de la Iglesia – he of ACCIONE MUTANTE and DAY OF THE BEAST fame – has been working away in Spain on a new scifi sitcom due to start airing in September. Titled PLUTON VERBENERO there’s no trailer yet but there is an extensive behind the scenes reel that shows of his sets and design work and it’s looking like pretty vintage stuff. Check it out here Quick! Name the last truly great possession film! Personally, I’m pretty hard pressed to come up with one newer than THE EXORCIST. But that may be about to change with the imminent arrival of DOROTHY MILLS. The buzz on this one is building steadily and with a release in France just around the corner trailers and clips are starting to leak out so that we can see why. One trailer, four clips, to be precise, and this is creepy, unsettling stuff. Lights down, volume up. And we enter the home stretch with the latest by a true cult icon: TETSUO THE IRON MAN’s Shinya Tsukamoto. The new film is the second entry in his NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE franchise with Ryuhei Matsuda reprising his role as the reluctant – to the point of being suicidal – supernatural detective who can insert himself into people’s dreams. I’ve seen this one and while it’s more philosophical than the first it’s also really gooooooooood. But don’t take my word for it, there’s a brand new English subtitled trailer out there. Enter your dreams here How do you top a legend? By bringing EIGHT legends, baby! Get ready for rubber suited glory, it’s the trailer for the new ULTRAMAN movie which features not just ONE Ultraman but every distinct Ultraman from the run of the series, all eight of them with most (if not all) of the original cast brought back to don the suits. And why would you need eight Ultraman? Because you’ve got one seriously bad-assed man-in-suit rubber monster to battle, why else? This, friends, is how you do a legendary franchise right. Say it with me: Man in suit! Man in suit!

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