Media Blasters Picks Up GAMERA THE BRAVE and Other Recent Kadokawa Titles
Author: Keith Aiken
Source: Media Blasters, Inc.
Special Thanks to Richard York
Media Blasters has announced that they have acquired North American rights to a trio of films from Kadokawa Pictures; ONE MISSED CALL: FINAL, THE BLACK HOUSE, and GAMERA THE BRAVE. Few details are available at this time, but the three movies are expected to be released on Region 1 DVD in 2008.
GAMERA THE BRAVE (Chiisaki Yusha-tachi Gamera, 2006) is the latest Gamera film and the first in the long-running series to be produced by Kadokawa. The monstrous flying turtle was introduced in the Daiei Motion Picture Company’s 1965 hit GAMERA (Daikaiju Gamera, U.S. title GAMMERA THE INVINCIBLE) and starred in ten more films up to 1999’s GAMERA: REVENGE OF IRIS (Gamera 3: Irisu Kakusei). Daiei was later sold to the Kadokawa Publishing Company, and in November 2002 the studio was absorbed into the company’s own film division, Kadokawa Pictures. Since then, Kadokawa has produced THE GREAT YOKAI WAR (Yokai Daisenso, 2005), a successful update of Daiei’s classic Yokai series, and revived Gamera with a new film that takes the monster back to its “The Friend of All Children” roots.
GAMERA THE BRAVE was directed by Ryuta Tazaki (KAMEN RIDER AGITO, SHIBUYA 15) with special effects by Isao Kaneko (GODZILLA VS BIOLLANTE, TETSUJIN 28). The film opens thirty years ago, as the giant fire-breathing turtle Gamera disappears during a battle against the flying monsters called Gyaos. In 2006, a young boy named Toru Aizawa (Ryo Tomioka) discovers a turtle egg on a beach. The egg hatches in his hand, and Toru decides to keep the tiny newborn as a pet. The little turtle grows quickly and soon displays some very unusual behavior such as flying and breathing fire. Toru realizes that he has found a baby Gamera!
When the giant sea monster called Zedus comes ashore to feast on human beings, the new Gamera comes to the rescue of Toru and his friends. But the little monster is no match for his bigger, stronger, and faster opponent. Gamera is severely wounded, and Zedus turns its attention to the city of Nagoya. Toru must help the young Gamera recover from his injuries and find a way to stop the threat of Zedus.
ONE MISSED CALL: FINAL (Chakushin Ari Saishusho, 2006) is the third— a supposedly last— chapter in the J-Horror series. Media Blasters has already released the first two films on DVD, both separately and in a ONE MISSED CALL Collection. The US remake of the original ONE MISSED CALL is coming in January 2008 from Warner Bros.
Directed by Manobu Asou (SKYHIGH television series), ONE MISSED CALL: FINAL is the story of Makai Asuka (Maki Horikita), a timid high school student who is bullied by her classmates. Left behind when her class takes a field trip to Korea, Asuka plans revenge by sending a disturbing photo with the message: “If you transmit this cursed photo to someone else, your life will be spared.” When students begin to die the remaining kids rush to pass the photo on to save their own lives, sparking a deadly fight for survival using cell phones.
THE BLACK HOUSE (Geomeun Jib a.k.a. PSYCHOPATH, 2007) is a Korean film produced by CJ Entertainment and Kadokawa Pictures and is based on the 1997 Japanese novel The Black House (Kuroi Ie) by horror writer Yusuke Kishi (The Crimson Labyrinth). The movie was directed by Shin Tae-ra, a graduate of the Korean Academy of Film Arts whom made his feature film debut with BRAINWAVE (Beu-Re-In-We-I-Beu, 2006). THE BLACK HOUSE was a box office hit in Korea upon its release this past June, and opened on 250 screens last month in Japan. Early reviews have been positive; describing the film as a smart and stylish take on the splatter genre.
A rookie insurance investigator named Jeon Jun-oh (played by popular actor Hwang Jeong-min) is assigned a case involving the suicide of the 7 year old son of a policy holder who lives in a strange dark house. Police start an investigation, and the autopsy and all the evidence supports a suicide finding. But Jun-oh can’t shake his suspicions that the incident was actually a murder. Believing that insurance, which should protect lives, cannot be seen to promote murder, he withholds payment. There is evidence of other serial murders, and a secret lying inside company records in storage. Where is the truth? And what is the true nature of the Black House?