Latest DVD News from Media Blasters
New DVD Info, Cover Art, and Release Dates for the ‘Tokyo Shock’ Label
Author: Keith Aiken
Source: Media Blasters, Inc.
Media Blasters has provided new cover art and information on their upcoming Tokyo Shock releases. Look for the following Region 1 DVDs in the next few months.
February 13, 2007: DOLL FROM HELL (Ikenie, 1996)
This horror thriller from Gaga Communications (ZEIRAM) is also known as SACRIFICE. Out in the middle of nowhere sits a remote mountain villa where an old doll maker and his daughter Erika reside. There’s is a peaceful existence until a gang of ruthless thugs bring about a whole mess of trouble. When the gang thinks Erika witnessed one of their crimes, they attack and kill her and disfigure her father with acid. With the help of a magic spell, the doll maker sacrifices himself in order to bring Erika back as a living, vengeful doll! When the gang returns to take over the villa, the newly reanimated Erika begins eliminating the them one by one.
DOLL FROM HELL runs 76 minutes, and is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen. Extras include a “Making Of” featurette and the film’s trailer. SRP $29.95.
February 13, 2007: REQUIEM FOR A BODYGUARD: GUN CRAZY 4 (2003)
In Southeast Asia, armed guerillas storm a party being hosted by a major Japanese trading company. They kidnap Eri Enomoto (Rika Uesugi), the director’s daughter, and demand a huge ransom. But company infighting stalls plans to comply with the kidnappers, and Eri’s father collapses from the strain. When Eri’s childhood friend, Miki (Natsuki Katoh), learns of the kidnapping and the company’s reluctance to save her friend, she decides to try and rescue Eri on her own.
She enlists the aid of a man named Takagi, well-versed in gun and drug-running, only to be told that there are only two ways to resolve a kidnapping: either pay up or attack. When the ransom money gets stolen, it’s time for Miki and her assembled bodyguards to attack.
REQUIEM FOR A BODYGUARD runs 64 minutes. The film is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen with the original Japanese audio and removable English subtitles. Comes with the trailer for the movie. SRP $19.95.
February 27, 2007: ONE MISSED CALL Collection
This box set contains Takashi Miike’s ONE MISSED CALL (Chakushin Ari, 2004) and the sequel ONE MISSED CALL 2 (Chakushin Ari 2, 2005). A group of teenagers start receiving ‘missed call’ messages on their cell phones. When played back the teens hear terrifying voice messages of their own agonizing deaths, with onscreen text giving the exact date and time of their imminent murders. After the first murders occur, the media soon gets hold of the story, and a young woman (Kou Shibasaki) receives her own ‘missed call’.
The ONE MISSED CALL DVD is a 2-Disc set presenting the film in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, with the original Japanese audio track in both 5.1 and 2.0 digital surround sound, a 2.0 English dub, and removable English subtitles. Extras on Disc 1 include the original theatrical trailer and previews for several Tokyo Shock titles. Disc 2 has “The Making of ONE MISSED CALL” documentary, an exclusive interview with Miike, interviews with the cast and crew, TV spots, and more. ONE MISSED CALL 2 is also a 2-Disc set with the original Japanese audio track in both 5.1 and 2.0 digital surround sound, a 2.0 English dub, and removable English subtitles. The combined running time for both films is 219 minutes. SRP $39.95.
March 13, 2007: TALES OF TERROR FROM TOKYO VOLUME 3- PART 2 (Suiyo Puremia: Sekai Saikyo J-Hora SP Nihon-no Kowai Yoru, 2004)
Just because the gates to the spirit world are usually kept shut does not mean that they cannot suddenly open, that the dead cannot reach out for your throat, that its denizens cannot prowl in abandoned office buildings, or haunt high school video projects. The dark realm is with you, and within you, its emotions calling to yours in shades of horror, of fear, of terror. Writers Kihara Hirokatsu and Nakayama Ichiro have collected these Tales of Terror from accounts told to them as true all over Japan.
Picking up where TALES OF TERROR FROM TOKYO VOLUME 3- PART 1 (released January 30) left off, VOLUME 3- PART 2 features 85 minutes of horror, in the original full screen format with Japanese audio and removable English subtitles. SRP $29.95.
March 27, 2007: ULTIMATE VERSUS (2000)
Deep within the mysterious Forest of Resurrection, a spectacular battle between good and evil has gone on since the dawn of time. When Prisoner KSC2-303 escapes from a maximum security jail, he enters the forest believing it will lead him to a safe haven. Instead, he finds himself a pawn in an endless struggle played out against an ever-changing background across multiple temporal planes of existence.
His opponent: a mysterious man who seemingly cannot be killed. The battle to be waged: Good versus Evil in the pursuit of a beautiful woman who holds the power to grant eternal life. But what Prisoner KSC2-303 cannot remember is whether he is the personification of good or the very essence of darkness.
Originally planned as a sequel to his amateur movie DOWN TO HELL (1996), VERSUS became the breakthrough hit for director Ryuhei Kitamura. The film became a cult favorite in Japan and overseas, giving Kitamura the opportunity to make the science fiction thriller ALIVE (2002), “The Messenger” segment of JAM FILMS (2002), the supernatural tales SKYHIGH (2003) and ARAGAMI (2003), plus Toho’s AZUMI (2003) and GODZILLA: FINAL WARS (2004). The crew of VERSUS also included Kitamura’s film school classmate Ryuichi Takatsu (director of THE MAKING OF VERSUS documentary) and lead actor Tak Sakaguchi; two men who played major roles in the making of GODZILLA: FINAL WARS.
Media Blasters’ ULTIMATE VERSUS is a 3-Disc Set featuring an extended cut of the movie with new scenes, new music, and 10 minutes of additional footage. DVD extras include deleted scenes, two audio commentaries, the new “making of” documentary SAKIGAKE! OTOKO VERSUS JYUKU, the making of the intro THE FIRST CONTACT, the original “making of” documentary BEHIND VERSUS PART 1- THE BIRTH OF THE DARK HERO, the new “making of” documentary BEHIND VERSUS PART 2- VERSUS THE LEGEND, the side story NERVOUS 1, the side story NERVOUS 2, the making of NERVOUS 2, the actor profile TAK- A SOLITARY JOURNEY, and more. VERSUS is presented in the original widescreen aspect ratio with Japanese audio, and English dub, and English subtitles. The complete running time is 323 minutes. SRP $39.95.
April 3, 2007: KUNOICHI Collection
This 2-Disc Set inlcudes KUNOICHI: DEADLY MIRAGE and KUNOICHI: LADY NINJA (Kunoichi Ninpo cho Yagyu Gaiden: Edobana Jigoku-hen, 1998).
KUNOICHI: DEADLY MIRAGE During the Edo period of Japan, out of the fear of losing authority, the Tokugawa shogunate hires the Shinsengumi to bring down the Imperial Court. However, the Satsuma Clan finds out about the Tokugawa’s scheme and sends the last five Kunoichi (female ninjas) of Hiryu Ninja Clan, to spy on the Shinsengumi. Meanwhile, an evil skeletal demon is brought to life to murder the Kunoichi ninjas and destroy the world.
KUNOICHI: LADY NINJA: In feudal Japan, the evil lord Akinari Katou ruled Aizu prefecture. He had private troops known as ‘The 7 Spears’ who were trained assassins with skills of Ninjitsu and sorcery. They gathered girls in Aizu for Akinari’s personal pleasure. When the 7 spears killed the Hori clan, 7 daughters were left in Edo. They swore a bloody vendetta using the power of ‘Kunoichi’ inside each one of them.
The combined running time for both films is 177 minutes. In Japanese and English audio, plus English subtitles. SRP $19.95
April 3, 2007: MASKED RIDER THE FIRST (Kamen Raidaa Za Faasuto, 2005)
Takeshi Hongo is a person of extraordinarily keen intellect, a young man with great promise for the future… but that future is snuffed out by a secret society called Shocker. They use cyborgs created in all manner of experiments in an attempt to take over the world. Hongo is made into a cyborg with the abilities of a locust– Masked Rider 1– but realizes he is being controlled by evil forces and is able to escape. Shocker views Hongo as a traitor and sends the headstrong cyborg Hayato Ichimonji– Masked Rider 2– to assassinate him. Hongo and Ichimonji are evenly matched and fight to a standstill. Shocker grows impatient, and orders the cyborgs Snake and Cobra to kill both Riders.
MASKED RIDER first appeared on television screens on April 3, 1971. The two heroes were adored by youngsters and launched a franchise that is still going strong 35 years later. MASKED RIDER THE FIRST is an adaptation of the original manga by Shotaro Ishinomori. This film is neither a sequel nor a remake, but a new interpretation of Ishinomori’s image of the Masked Rider. Media Blasters’ release will be a 2-disc set of the 90 minute long feature film with Japanese audio and removable English subtitles. Complete DVD specs tba. SRP $29.95
April 17, 2007: ZOO (2005)
ZOO is the first screen adaptation of works by the popular author Otsuichi… an anthology of five stories of fear, suspense, sadness, and pain by five directors:
KAZARI AND YOKO: Kazari and Yoko are identical twins, but only Kazari receives love from their mother. When Yoko tries to change the situation, things take an unexpected turn. Directed by Ryu Kaneda.
SEVEN ROOMS: A brother and sister are imprisoned in one of seven cells, with only a small drainage pipe connecting the rooms. Directed by Masanori Adachi.
SO-FAR: A boy realizes that he is the only connection between his parents, both of which think the other is dead. Directed by Masaaki Komiya and starring Ryunosuke Kamiki (THE GREAT YOKAI WAR).
WHEN THE SUN SHINES: A CG animated story about the truth found on the edge of death. Directed by Junpei Mizusaki and Kamikaze Suzuki.
ZOO: A man murders a woman at an abandoned zoo. Each day he returns to photograph the woman’s decaying body, but soon his photos begin to reveal things not visible to the naked eye.
The movie runs 119 minutes. SRP $19.95.
April 17, 2007: FAMILY 2 (2001)
Acclaimed director Takashi Miike explores a different type of family dynamic with FAMILY; the tale of rival yakuza families constantly at war with each other. Based on the serialized Weekly True Stories manga by Hisao Maki, FAMILY is part of Media Blasters’ “Maki Collection” of collaborations between Maki and Miike… the line also includes BODYGUARD KIBA (Bodigaado Kiba, 1993) and SILVER (Silver: Shirubaa, 1999).
In FAMILY 2, it is discovered that the order to assassinate the Mitsumikai Boss was given by the one and only Boss of the Japan Mafia: Mr. Nishiwaki. Hideshi finds something odd about the killing and launches and investigation that uncovers the true motives behind this murder. The FAMILY saga continues with a sequel packed with harrowing boat chases, big explosions, beautiful women, sex, and drugs. Running time 80 minutes, 1.85:1 widescreen, in the original Japanese audio with removable English subtitles. SRP $29.95.
April 24, 2007: BAIAN THE ASSASSIN VOL 1-4 Quadruple Feature Collection
Four discs with the first 8 episodes of the series BAIAN THE ASSASSIN (Shikakenin Fujieda Baian, 1990-1993). During the Edo Period, Dr. Baian is a popular and trusted acuputurist. But Baian has a secret… he is also a professional hitman who assassinates evildoers. Starring Ken Watanabe (THE LAST SAMURAI, BATMAN BEGINS, MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA, LETTERS FROM IWO JIMAS). Running time: 351 minutes. In Japanese with English subtitles, SRP $24.95.
April 24, 2007: FEMALE PRISONER #701 SCORPION Triple Feature Collection
A 3-Disc set with 263 minutes of Meiko Kaji (LADY SNOWBLOOD, KILL BILL) as Nami “Matsu” Matsushima— a woman of few words and great violence.
FEMALE PRISONER #701: SCORPION (Joshuu 701-go: Sasori, 1972): Matsu, known as “Scorpion,” lands in prison thanks to the evil manipulations of an ex-boyfriend. Through her suffering at the hands of the jailers and other prisoners, director Shunya Ito creates a portrait of a woman is full of strength, beauty and an honor which outshines her peers and the cage within which she’s contained. This first film in the series about the Scorpion remains one of the most famous and beloved Japanese exploitation films of the 1970s. Director Shunya Ito struck a delicate balance between art and trash and created one of the most ambitious, sleazy, and beautiful women in prison films ever made.
FEMALE PRISONER #701 SCORPION: BEAST STABLE (Joshuu Sasori: Kemono-Beya 1973): When the third episode of this series begins, Scorpion has successfully broken out of prison and is hiding out in a brothel. With a prostitute friend on her side, it seems as if Scorpion may be in luck. But when the head of the prostitution house learns of her true identity, Scorpion must pay a great price.
FEMALE PRISONER #701 SCORPION: GRUDGE SONG (Joshuu Sasori: 701-go Urami-Bushi, 1973): The last Female Prisoner Scorpion picture starring Meiko Kaji. The film opens with Nami Matsushima once again on the lam. The police track her down at a wedding, but she manages to escape. Badly injured, she is saved by a man who works in a strip joint and holds a grudge against the police for torturing him. Can the Scorpion trust a man again? Should she?
The three films are in Japanese with English subtitles. SRP $29.95.
April 24, 2007: KAZUO UMEZZ’S HORROR THEATER VOL 1-3: Triple Feature Collection
In 2005, horror stories by renowned mangaka Kazuo Umezu (The Drifting Classroom, God’s Left Hand Devil’s Right Hand) were adapted as the live action series HORROR THEATER (Umezu Kazuo: Kyofu Gekijo). The DVD Collection includes 6 episodes featuring the talents of Hiroshi Takahashi (screenwriter of RING) and actors Kanji Tsuda (JU-ON, GAMERA THE BRAVE, THE GREAT YOKAI WAR), Kiyusaku Shimada (TOKYO: THE LAST MEGALOPOLIS, THE PRINCESS BLADE, DRAGONHEAD), Toshinori Omi (STACY, THE TWILIGHT SAMURAI), Anna Nakagawa (GODZILLA VS KING GHIDORAH, CURE), Hitomi Miwa (JU-ON, SUMMER OF UBUME, MASKED RIDER KABUTO) and Tomorowo Taguchi (TOMIE: ANOTHER FACE). 305 minutes, in the original Japanese, English subtitles. SRP $19.95.
May 1, 2007: ART OF THE DEVIL 2-Pack
A collection of the Thai horror films previously released by Tokyo Shock:
ART OF THE DEVIL (Khon Len Khong, 2004): During the investigation into the sensational murder of a millionaire’s family, the police fail to uncover the evidence needed to charge the millionaire’s mistress. But a young crime reporter discovers how the woman committed the murders… she used the dark art of witchcraft!
ART OF THE DEVIL II (Long Khong, 2005): When the reunion of 7 souls commence, a haunting past binds the ring of friends in an evil world filled with black magic and doom. What horror previously initiated, now beckons with revenge. The demented world stops at nothing in tearing up the 7 lives, rendering them without a chance of redemption.
Combined running time is 196 minutes, in Thai with English subtitles, SRP $29.95.
May 29, 2007: ICHI THE KILLER Blood Pack (Koroshiya 1, 2001)
Yakuza boss Anjo disappears with three hundred million yen. His second in command, the brutal Kakihara (Tadanobu Asano), leads Anjo’s loyal gang members in the search, but their violent methods worry the other yakuza gangs run by Fujiwara (Toru Tezuka) and Jijii (Shinya Tsukamoto). A tension mounts; Jijii uses the mysterious Ichi, a psychopathic killer with a dark childhood secret, to pick off members of the other gangs.
One of director Takashi Miike’s most famous films, ICHI THE KILLER is being reissued on DVD with a brand-new 1.85:1, 16X9 enhanced transfer. Complete specs to be announced, but the extra features will include an interview with producer Dai Miyazaki and other cast and crew members. 2-Disc set, running time 124 minutes, SRP $34.95.