Interview: Takashi Miike on Blade of the Immortal, Directing 100 Films, and More; New Clips! - Dread Central
Connect with us

News

Interview: Takashi Miike on Blade of the Immortal, Directing 100 Films, and More; New Clips!

Published

on

When it comes to Asian cinema, there is probably no director more well known to the horror community than Takashi Miike. Responsible for directing films such as Audition, Gozu, One Missed Call, Ichi the Killer, and much, much more, the director recently celebrated directing his 100th film with Blade of the Immortal (review), an adaptation of Hiroaki Samura’s manga Mugen no jûnin.

Earlier today, I had the honor and pleasure of sitting down across from Miike to discuss (through a translator) the film as well as ask about his career, what he’s learned over the years, and how he manages to be so consistent across multiple genres. You can read this interview below and also check out a few new clips from Blade of the Immortal.

Blade of the Immortal stars Takuya Kimura, Hana Sugisaki, Sōta Fukushi, Hayato Ichihara, and Erika Toda. The film grossed $6.8 million when it was released in Japan earlier this year, and it arrives as a limited release in the US today, November 3rd, courtesy of Magnet Releasing. You can see if it’s playing in your area right here.

Dread Central: How are you doing?

Takashi Miike: I am getting along just fine. [laughs]

DC: What appealed to you about Blade of the Immortal?

TM: What I like in this is that I feel like the roles of “dark” and “light” in this story have been reversed. What I mean by that is the bad guys are also standing out and shining in their own unique way. The bad guys have their own convictions and, in their own way, they are following these convictions. They don’t just exist to make the good guys look good. They actually have their own story.

DC: Their own purpose?

TM: Yes, absolutely. I think one of the things being emphasized there is that becoming a good person is not their purpose for living.

DC: This dynamic where good and evil, light and dark are blurred gives the film a bit more depth and humanity. How does one make sure that these characters have that three-dimensional aspect and come across as almost sympathetic and yet we still know, in the end, who is “good” and “bad”?

TM: So I think it’s really an accumulation of a couple of things. First of all, when I’m filming, it’s not like I’m thinking everyone comes together and is cooperative and thinking, “Hey, let’s do this!” It’s actually almost like everyone exists separately, individually, and you bring them all together and see how that interaction works.

Also, instead of enclosing an actor in a character, saying, “Okay, you have to be enclosed in this role”, I like to give them the freedom to be who they are. I try to see that and take advantage of that in the film. When I say that, I mean that depth is not an innate human characteristic, that kind of character depth. But actors have all these satisfactions, happy moments, goals, frustrations, things like that. There’s this instinctual part of being an actor as well that I want to bring out. Actors have a difficult life in that there is no guarantee of success. One scandal and that could overturn their whole career. They are really living on the edge, so I want to take advantage of those sensations and those human emotions that those real actors have and bring them together and let them be free so that those real human characters of the actors come out. That’s how I get the depth.

Director Takashi Miike on the set of BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL, a Magnet release. Photo courtesy of Magnet Releasing.

DC: Obviously one of the big points connected to the release of Blade of the Immortal is that it’s your 100th film, which is an amazing accomplishment. However, I’m curious what were some of the lessons that have been learned in the previous 99 films that are still applicable and what do you feel you are still learning even though you’ve made so many films?

TM: So, basically, the big lesson that I learned is that it’s not important to have these amazing, perfect actors and this amazing, perfect film that you’re creating. It’s good to have…sometimes, if the film is imperfect but it’s compelling or if the actors are imperfect but compelling and I say that because at the beginning, when I started, I was really the pinch-hitter. I was the assistant director and when we had these problems with a specific film, I would be asked, “Well, can you become the director?” And so I stepped in and did that.

If you look back at those old films from a technical aspect, they may have some insufficiencies but you can take those and use them as an advantage. There are no hard and fast rules about this. It’s not that something that’s technically great or superior is going to be a better film, not necessarily. In fact, you can have great acting that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be what’s best for that film. You can have bad acting, the person is a bad actor, but they’re a very compelling character. They turn into a very compelling part of that story.

Something can be incomplete, it can be imperfect, but it can still be very compelling. That’s the main lesson I feel that I’ve learned from previous films.

DC: Many genre directors are known for being a part of that genre, people like Wes Craven and George Romero. I think why people are so fascinated by your body of work is how they’re unpredictable, chaotic, exciting, and varied. How do you embrace this diversity and give each of these films such character, emotion, and charm?

TM: So, first of all, there are some directors that are all about horror and they make horror films and that’s pretty much all they make. For me, that’s a stranger state of being than my own. I say that knowing that there are some people who are born for horror films. They don’t have to even make any efforts at all and it naturally turns into a horror film.

For me, it’s the same with multi-genre filmmaking. I don’t really have to do anything special and it just becomes naturally multi-genre. I say that because if you’re making a horror film and you have someone who is naturally a funny character, then suddenly you’re going to have a horror film that has a funny part, that has some comedy. If you’re making a schoolboy/schoolgirl drama, all these different homes and personal situations that are different, so suddenly that may turn from a drama into a completely different situation. So I’m really not picky about genre because of that.

An interesting story: the director of the Mad Max films, George Miller…I was a big fan of the original Mad Max and I really enjoyed Mad Max: Fury Road, both of them immensely. When George Miller came to Japan, I met with him and I asked him personally, “What kind of car does the director of the Mad Max films drive?” He said, “Well, I’m driving a Lexus hybrid!” I thought that was really fascinating! I felt like it was a reflection of the hybrid nature of the Mad Max films itself. For the director to be driving a hybrid, it’s just too rich to hear that! That’s me! That’s the way I am as well, it’s a hybrid. My films are, for me, a Lexus hybrid.

Comments

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Comments

News

Ryan Schifrin’s Abominable Gets a Sasquatch-Sized Blu-Ray

Published

on

A recent scientific study concluded that since the year 2000 there have 4,374,139 killer Bigfoot movies. 2006’s Abominable is one of the better Sasquatch-ploitation flicks of the era. Now this creature feature is getting a collector’s edition blu-ray complete with a brand new cut of the gruesome flick.

MVD Rewind Collection has announced they’re planning a special edition of Ryan Schifrin’s gory Hitchcock-influenced Bigfoot flick Abominable, which cast Matt McCoy as a wheelchair bound man who begins Rear Window-ing a psycho Sasquatch terrorizing his hot-blooded cabin neighbors that then turns his big foot towards him. Lance Henriksen, Dee Wallace, Jeffrey Combs, Tiffany Shepis, Haley Joel, Karin Anna Cheung, and Paul Gleason co-star.

It has been sighted 42,000 times in 68 countries, a vicious creature of myth and legend called Sasquatch, Yeti, and perhaps most infamously, Bigfoot. It’s been hunted it for years. But what happens when it decides to hunt us?



After recovering from a horrific accident, paraplegic Preston Rogers (Matt McCoy) moves back into the remote cabin where he and his now-deceased wife once lived. When his new neighbor Karen, is attacked by a gigantic creature, Rogers contacts the local authorities. But after the police and those around him dismiss Rogers as a delusional widower, he sets out to stop the abominable creature himself.

This won’t be your typical collector’s edition as not only will be getting a new high definition transfer of the film originally shot on 35mm, this will also include an all-new cut of the film with improved CGI-effects overseen by filmmaker Schifrin and editor Chris Conlee with enhanced color timing and correction.

As if two cuts of the film weren’t enough, MVD’s Abominable release will also boast a ton of extras both new and ported over from the original DVD release:
-Brand New 2k Remaster of the Film from the Original Camera Negative
-Brand New Introduction from Director Ryan Schifrin (HD)
-‘Basil & Mobius: No Rest For The Wicked’ (16:28, HD) – New short film written and directed by Ryan Schifrin featuring a score by legendary composer Lalo Schifrin and starring Zachari Levi, Ray Park, Malcolm McDowell and Kane Hodder
-Audio Commentary with writer/director Ryan Schifrin, Actors Matt McCoy and Jeffrey Combs
-‘Back to Genre: Making ABOMINABLE” featurette (SD)
-Deleted and Extended Scenes (SD)
-Outtakes and Bloopers (SD)
-“Shadows” Director Ryan Schifrin’s USC Student Film (SD)
-The original 2005 version of “Abominable” (Blu-ray only, 94 mins, SD)
-Original Theatrical Trailer
-Poster & Still Gallery Storyboard Gallery
-Collectible Poster
-Audio: 5.1 Surround Audio (Uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)

The MVD Rewind Collection release of Abomimable stomps its way to blu-ray on June 12th.

Comments

Continue Reading

News

Horror Retro Caps Boasts Hats Featuring The Lamp, The Video Dead, Rosemary’s Killer and more!

Published

on

Yesterday I was stumbling around on Instagram and I came across this killer account called @horrorretrocaps. They make horror movie-themed hats and I felt the need to share their work with you guys today.

It’s not so much the hats (which are cool), or the quality of the product (which looks sound as a pound) but it is the obvious love of horror by the guys behind the scenes that gets me all warm and fuzzy.

I mean sure there are products like A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. But they also have hats celebrating such classics as The Outing, The Lamp (hell, yeah!), The Gate, Zombie Lake, and The Video Dead.

Nice!

On top of that, the product that sealed the deal for me was their Rosemary’s Killer hat. As some of you might know, Rosemary’s Killer is the alternate title of Joseph Zito’s underrated slasher The Prowler. That alone just earned them horror-cred for days.

You can check out some of their choice caps below and then head on over to their account to purchase some product: @horrorretrocaps.

All caps are $15 plus $4 shipping in the U.S., and he also takes requests for $20.

Enjoy!

Comments

Continue Reading

News

Jurassic Park T-Rex Stomps Through Ready Player One Trailer #3

Published

on

Is that the f*cking T-Rex!?

It was only earlier this week that we brought you guys the new “pure 80’s nostalgia” poster (to the right) for Steven Spielberg’s new action-adventure film Ready Player One.

And if all the promotional materials we have seen thus far haven’t done anything to raise your interest in the film (including trailers which featured Freddy Krueger, Chucky, Christine, and King Kong) then today’s new might not help matters much.

But all the same today we have a new trailer which features the mighty T-Rex from Spielberg’s own Jurassic Park and a bunch of new character posters for good measure.

I’m just going to come right out and say that as impressed as I am with the trailers for this film, I can’t help but feel someone watched theImaginationland episode of “South Park” and thought, “Mother of God… call Steven Speilberg!”

You can check out the character posters and the new trailer below and then let us know what you think of the film thus far.

Ready Player One is directed by Steven Spielberg from a script by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline, based on the novel by Cline. The film stars Tye Sheridan, Mark Rylance, Olivia Cooke, Simon Pegg, and Ben Mendelsohn.

The film hits theaters March 29, 2018.

Synopsis:

When the creator of an MMO called the Oasis dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all Oasis users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune. Wade Watts finds the first clue and starts a race for the Egg.

Comments

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Go Ad Free!

Support Dread Central on Patreon!
Advertisement

Recent Comments

Advertisement

Join the Box of Dread Mailing List

* indicates required

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Dread Central Media LLC