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Shimizu, Takashi (The Grudge)

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The Grudge director Takashi Shimizu entered the room and shook my hand while grasping an ashtray in his other hand. “Sorry, I’m heavy smoker”, he said in broken English. Through his interpreter we sat down and began the interview. Right in the middle of the first question he looked down at the recorder, lowered his head towards the microphone and began making the eerie signature, Grudge sound. Then after began giggling like a child who had just played a successful prank.


Question: That sound in the film is your voice correct?

Takashi Shimizu: Yes that is me.

Q: Taka Ichise said thatThe Grudge curse is solely your idea and not based on Japanese legend. How did it you develop it?

TS: It is definitely based on Japanese culture and Japanese ghost stories because when I was little I really loved reading ghost stories. In every book the ghost stories were different, so I just wanted to combine everything and add my own world of ghosts and my own rules. So I just combined everything and that is what became, The Grudge.

Q: In terms of mood and tone what kind of compromises did you make for the American audience?

TS: Mood and tone is just something that is inside of me. Something that is really hard to explain. The influence in the film is definitely based on things I have read in the past. I think it was similar among everyone. When it came to performance, I didn’t want to force any of the actors to do whatever I wanted but at the same time there is a definite timing in the tone and the mode that I carry within myself. Sometimes the actors thought it was too long to hold the moment but I just wanted them to trust me for that.

Q: Did your directions ever get lost in translation to the other actors?

TS: (Laughs) My last translator was really good but she talked a little more than she was supposed too. (Laughs) Meaning she was saying things to the actors that I didn’t want them to hear. (Laughs)

Q: What were some of the things she said?

TS: (Pause) I don’t remember. (Laughs) Actually the movie, Lost in Translation was happening during the filming of The Grudge, so Sarah (Michelle Gellar) got the DVD to watch it. I was very conscious about the film and very conscious to make sure Sarah really understands what I am actually saying. What I’m trying to say is that if I hear English I can kind of understand a nuance of it, but Sarah doesn’t understand any Japanese so she probably doesn’t get the feeling even but she is very smart and she was able to sense everything.

Q: Was it weird to basically make the same movie two years in a row?

TS: Very strange. I actually wanted to change as much as I could and bring in as much new stuff as I could. When I was first offered the remake I said no, but when Sam asked me to do this he said, “Bring in the different ghost taste to America.” That was such an honor to be asked for. And I’m such a big fan of Sam and that is just a great honor to do what he asked for so that is why I decided to go for it.

Q: In regards to the locations used in the remake; they looked very similar to those in Ju-On. Were any of the same locations used?

TS: No they were all different but all based on Ju-On so that is why they looked so similar.

Q: Was there anything in the first film that you were not happy with that you were glad you had the chance to do again?

TS: Of course there are things that I am more satisfied with in the remake, but I actually found out that when we were doing the original there were things we couldn’t do because of the low budget and there was no time. In the remake there were still things we couldn’t do with the money and the time. It was kind of hard for me to find that out. But the new one is on a higher level.

Q: Were you surprised how much freedom the American producers in Hollywood gave you to make the film the way you wanted to make it?

TS: During the process I have to say I got more freedom than I expected but that was all because of Sam’s support. I really appreciate him for that kind of support but I still had a difficult time. Sam wanted me to do the remake because he saw the original and he knew the direction I was going in and he completely trusted me to do that, but the other producers were different and they had so much to say. There were times where we argued. There was a definite direction I was going for but the producers didn’t agree with me. When that kind of situation happened Sam came in between and he tried to negotiate for us. I really appreciate what he did.

Q: Was this other American producers?

TS: Yes American producers.

Q: Robert Tapert?

TS: No, Robert was always with Sam and very supportive. After it all I can say it was a lot of fun but there were a lot of fights between the Sony producers and Sam, Rob & I. Sam and Rob completely trusted me, in what I could do to bring the Japanese taste to America. Sony was always thinking about business and they wanted something more typical. They wanted something more understandable for the Americans so there was this conflict, but at the same time I was able to come up with something in between compromising both. So now I can say it was fun.

Q: What about the ending? Was there any conflict about how the film was going to end?

TS: There was no argument about the ending, however there were some issues. When I would watch American DVDs in Japan sometimes the DVDs would have different endings. I wasn’t really going for that idea because as a samurai spirit why don’t I just decide on one thing. (Laughs) I always wanted to go with one idea and just be with it, but experiencing the American production now I understand that here it is just more difficult to make films within the production and now I understand why sometimes there are different endings It was kind of nice that I got to experience the American production that way.

Q: What are the plans for the DVD?

TS: The ending will be the same for the DVD but the MPAA made us cut some stuff to get the PG-13 rating, so I definitely want to release a director’s cut so I can add back in all of the scary things you didn’t get to see, an unrated version.

Q: Was it difficult to make a PG-13 horror film?

TS: I guess I could say that it was strict but I’m not really a big fan of violence and slaughter. Sometimes I think it is necessary for the horror movie but I don’t think those are the only elements that make a horror movie scarier. So in a way yes, but not really.

Q: Do you think there are cultural differences in what Japanese audiences find frightening versus what American audiences do?

TS: Definitely different.

Q: In what way?

TS: It kind of has something to do with religions. In America if there is a ghost in a film they attack you and that is how people get scared. In Japan if a ghost appears and it is just there we get scared. Just because it’s there. Maybe it’s going to do something to me or maybe it’s going to take my life away. It’s just the existence of the ghost that scares us. Maybe that has something to do with the religion. That’s the biggest difference.

Q: What are your future directorial plans?

TS: All I have right now is horror but I am looking for a producer who will let me do a comedy.

Q: How’s about a horror comedy?

TS: Yeah!


Thanks to Sony and Shimizu-san for the interview! Discuss it in our forums!

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Simon Pegg and Nick Frost Are Truth Seekers Playing by Slaughterhouse Rulez

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One of our favorite pairings of stars from the last twenty years is no doubt that of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Their chemistry is undeniable, and if you didn’t get enough of it in “Spaced,” Shawn of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End, and Paul, you’re about to get a bellyful of it on both big and small screens.

Variety is reporting that Frost and Pegg will be starring in “Truth Seekers,” a half-hour comedy-horror TV show about a three-person paranormal investigation team.

According to the site, each installment of “Truth Seekers” will focus on a paranormal incident, a setup with clear monster-of-the-week potential. “Each episode is going to be an adventure, a potential haunting or something,” Pegg says. “It’ll start as a very parochial idea, a very small business venture for these people, but it will expand as the series goes on to be something far more global. It’s a language everyone understands, the mystery of the unknown. Shaun of the Dead was a very parochial story set in North London, and somehow it managed to get this global reach because everyone understands the language of zombie movies.

That’s not all, though… the pair are also working on the feature film Slaughterhouse Rulez, a horror-comedy now in post-production. Directed by Crispian Mills and set in a well-to-do public school, the movie is “very satirical, very much about the U.K. selling itself off,” Pegg says. “It’s about fracking as well, and that unleashes some awful subterranean demon.

Both of these projects will be released under their Stolen Picture shingle. Stay tuned, kids! More as we get it!

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Rest in Peace – Yôsuke Natsuki

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We’ve lost another Kaiju legend today as reports are coming in that famed Japanese actor Yôsuke Natsuki has passed on at age 81.

Natsuki was a familiar face in several Godzilla films including Godzilla 1985 and Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster. Born in 1936, Yôsuke has made over 100 appearances in film with the last being in 2012’s Kirin.

We here at Dread Central would like to take this time to honor Natsuki’s friends, family members, and constituents.

すべてのことを与え、すべてのことを作成するために役立っていただきありがとうございます。簡単に休め

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NSFW Kill Clip from Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories Now Available on VOD

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VOB now available on VOD!

For those who might not know, Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories is a sequel to the indie horror anthology Volumes of Blood, produced by P.J. Starks and Eric Huskisson (The Confession of Fred Krueger) and Christopher Bower (The Dooms Chapel Horror).

It features actor Moses Moseley, best known for his role as one of Michonne’s “Pet Walkers” on AMC’s “The Walking Dead”; the acting debut of WWE legend Sir Mo from Men on a Mission; and original music by Rocky Gray (drummer for We Are the Fallen, Living Sacrifice, formerly of Evanescence) and Shane Prather (Sharknado franchise, Sinister Squad, Lavalantula).

The flick recently hit VOD and to celebrate the release, the filmmakers have shared a “Kill Clip” from the movie to spread the bloody word.

You can check out the NSFW Kill Clip called “All Torn Up” in all its gory glory below and then let us know what you think.

Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories is now available on Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Google Play, and more!

Synopsis:

A couple plan to purchase an old home but would like one last tour before the closing. They’re guided around the estate by a creepy realtor that may have more in store than they bargained for.

Searching floor by floor, they begin to discover the remnants of its sordid and terrifying past… A popular 80’s franchise gets a modern upgrade, but at what price? On Halloween night a teen left home alone meets a trick or treater that wants more than just candy. A door to door insurance salesman makes a Thanksgiving house call with monstrous consequences. Andrew and Sara are happily married and plan on spending some quality time together, but something sinister has other plans for their evening. Carol’s Christmas Eve turns into a fight for survival when a vengeful stranger isn’t feeling the holiday spirit. Lastly, a birthday party turns bloody when some unexpected guests drop by at the wrong time.

Seven interwoven tales of terror… how many stories does your house have?

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