THE DEVIL’S PATH Press Notes
SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from an upcoming Japanese movie.
Based on true crime cases, THE DEVIL’S PATH (凶悪, Kyoaku) exposes the secret underbelly of crime in modern Japan. The film opens in Japan on September 21st and is now being offered for international sales by Nikkatsu.
Journalist Shuichi Fujii (Takayuki Yamada) receives a letter from convicted killer Junji Sudo (Pierre Taki). Writing from death row, Sudo, a former yakuza, wants to confess to crimes unknown to the police.
On visiting Sudo in prison, Fujii learns about a real estate broker named Kimura (Lily Franky) — also called “Doc” — who masterminded a string of murders for insurance money that Sudo worked muscle for. Set up by Doc, Sudo seeks revenge and implores Fujii to find the evidence needed to bring in his former boss.
Working off Sudo’s sketchy memories, Fujii begins to piece together a grizzly tale of extortion, torture, rape, and arson. But as his desire to see Doc brought to justice nears the boiling point, he runs into resistance from his editor, who views the story as tripe, the police, who seem indifferent to the case, and his wife, who is at her wits’ end dealing with his mother’s increasing dementia.
Takayuki Yamada as Shuichi Fujii
Starring as high-minded journalist Shuichi Fujii is Takayuki Yamada. After gaining fame in the TV series WATERBOYS (ウォーターボーイズ, U~ootaabooizu, 2003), Yamada went on to appear in many major motion pictures, including BATTLE LEAGUE HORUMO (鴨川ホルモー, Kamogawa Horumo, 2009), 13 ASSASSINS (十三人の刺客, Juusan-nin no Shikaku, 2010), GANTZ (前編, Gantsu, 2011), GANTZ: PERFECT ANSWER (前編 PERFECT ANSWER, Gantsu Pafekuto Ansaa, 2011), MILOCRORZE – A LOVE STORY (ミロクローゼ, Mirokuroze, 2012) and THE FLOATING CASTLE (のぼうの城, Nobo no Shiro, 2012). He received the “Star Asia Rising Star Award” award from the New York Asian Film Festival in 2011.
Pierre Taki as Junji Sudo
Playing Junji Sudo, the gruff death row inmate who confesses to the unsolved murders, is Pierre Taki. His film credits include LORELEI: THE WITCH OF THE PACIFIC OCEAN (ローレライ, Roorerei, 2005), ALWAYS -SUNSET ON THIRD STREET (ALWAYS 三丁目の夕日, Always San-Chome no Yuhi, 2005), JAPAN SINKS (日本沈没, Nihon Chinbotsu, 2006) and ALWAYS -SUNSET ON THIRD STREET- 3 (ALWAYS 三丁目の夕日’64, Always San-Chome no Yuhi ’64, 2012).
In addition to his work as an actor, Pierre is a member of the popular techno band “Denki Groove”.
Lily Franky as “Doc”
Lily Franky appears as the callous mastermind behind the crimes of THE DEVIL’S PATH. His film credits include MONSTER X STRIKES BACK/ ATTACK THE G8 SUMMIT! (ギララの逆襲 洞爺湖サミット危機一発, Girara no Gyakushu: Toya-ko Samitto Kikiippatsu, 2008), LOVE STRIKES! (モテキ, Moteki, 2011) and AFRO TANAKA (アフロ田中, Afuro Tanaka, 2012).
Franky’s work goes beyond acting and he wrote the popular novel Tokyo Tower: Mom and Me, and Sometimes Dad (東京タワー オカンとボクと、時々、オトン, Tokyo Tawa: Okan to Boku to, Tokidoki, Oton), which was turned into both a TV series and a motion picture.
Director: Kazuya Shiraishi
A student of the late Koji Wakamatsu, Kazuya Shiraishi began his career as an assistant director on CYCLING CHRONICLES: LANDSCAPES THE BOY SAW (17歳の風景, 17-Sai no Fukei – Shonen Wa Nani o Mita no Kka, 2004). His first feature, LOST PARADISE IN TOKYO (ロストパラダイス・イン・トーキョー, Rosutoparadaisu in Tokyo, 2009), gained notice at international film festivals and enjoyed a run on the Japanese art house circuit.
“Two men kill old people with a single goal in mind: money. Worse, their methods are cold-blooded and savage. They express no sorrow or remorse and are unconcerned with the consequences of their actions. When I first heard about these true murder cases I was overcome with despair. Can people really be this evil? Utilizing the brutality of these individuals, I aimed to portray the greed that exists within all of us as well as bring light to the dark corners of Japanese society.”
–- Kayzuya Shiraishi
Producer: Yoshinori Chiba
One of the most prolific producers of genre films in Japan, Yoshinori Chiba’s resume includes such international hits as TOKYO GORE POLICE (東京残酷警察 Tokyo Zankoku Keisatsu, 2008), GUILTY OF ROMANCE (恋の罪, Koi no Tsumi, 2011), and KARATE-ROBO ZABORGAR (電人ザボーガー劇場版, Denjin Zabogaa: Gekijoo-ban, 2011). He also created the popular “Sushi Typhoon” label for Nikkatsu Studio. Chiba continues the trend he started with COLD FISH (冷たい熱帯魚, Tsumetai Nettaigyo, 2011) by creating films depicting the very real yet hushed up world of Japan’s criminal underground and the chilling crimes perpetrated by their ranks.
“While COLD FISH was based on true events, it was ultimately a Sion Sono Film. THE DEVIL’S PATH, though based on a nonfiction novel, is styled to appear fictitious. In this way it focuses on several issues facing Japan, such as taking care of the exploding elderly population and the execution system, which still remains in place in Japan.”
–- Yoshinori Chiba
International Premiere: August 23, 2013 (Montreal World Film Festival)
Japanese Release Date: September 21, 2013
Running Time: 128 Minutes
Shuichi Fujii: Takayuki Yamada
Junji Sudo: Pierre Taki
Kimura (“Doc”): Lily Franky
Yoko Fuji: Chizuru Ikewaki
Director: Kazuya Shiraishi
Screenwriter: Izumi Takahashi, Kazuya Shiraishi
Screenwriter : Izumi Takahashi, Kazuya Shiraishi. D’après/
Based on: Kyoaku-Aru Shikeishuu no Kokuhatsu by shincho45 editorial department (Shinchosha Publishing Co, Ltd.)
Producer: Yoshinori Chiba
Cinematographer: Takahiro Imai
Editor: Hitomi Kato
Music: Goro Yasukawa
Production Company: “The Devil’s Path” Film Partners
© 2013 “The Devil’s Path” F.P.