Yoshihiro Nishimura's upcoming film: Ninja Torakage (2014)

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Yoshihiro Nishimura's upcoming film: Ninja Torakage (2014)

Unread postby HungFist » 05 Mar 2014, 06:22

I'm not sure how much I can say about this because it's not announced by the studio yet, but Nishimura mentioned in Yubari that he will start filming his next film this month.

Meanwhile, see this promotion video he directed for Iga Ninja Film Festival which will be held in Iga in August 2014:
http://youtu.be/VK9mZ9AG4fI

Festival website:
http://iga-ninja.com/

The ninja girls from the video were, of course, also present in Yubari slicing and killing people (no, actually just singing and dancing)

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Re: Yoshihiro Nishimura's next film

Unread postby kemushi » 05 Mar 2014, 18:42

Outstanding news! The short films he has done since HELLDRIVER have left me pretty cold. I'd be interested in him trying something a little different this time. I'd love a return to the charmingly strange style of SPEAKERMAN THE BOO, for example. I also really want to see him direct his feature film version of Go Nagai's VIOLENCE JACK manga, though I suspect that project has long sine fallen by the wayside...

By the way, can you explain what it is with Nishimura and nudism? I read something on his blog a while ago where apparently he got arrested while trying to experience the grass in a public park in Toyko with all of his body...

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Re: Yoshihiro Nishimura's next film

Unread postby HungFist » 06 Mar 2014, 04:15

hah, I wasn't aware of him getting arrested. Got link for that?

edit: this? I don't think he's really saying he got arrested. I think it was either someone else, or he was talking hypothetically.

I really like Nishimura's films from the 1980's and 1990's. Wish those would get released on DVD some day, but seems unlikely...

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Re: Yoshihiro Nishimura's next film

Unread postby kemushi » 06 Mar 2014, 21:38

HungFist wrote:edit: this? I don't think he's really saying he got arrested. I think it was either someone else, or he was talking hypothetically.

Exactly this! I'm impressed that you found that based on my description!

Perfectly possible I misunderstood. My 2 semesters of Japanese 10 years ago only get me so far...

HungFist wrote:I really like Nishimura's films from the 1980's and 1990's. Wish those would get released on DVD some day, but seems unlikely...

I really like ANATOMIA EXTINCTION and SPEAKERMAN THE BOO. ANATOMIA EXTINCTION reminded me of Tsukamoto's TETSUO more than of TOKYO GORE POLICE, which Nishimura says is his feature length remake of ANATOMIA. SPEAKERMAN THE BOO? I once described it to a fried as a live-action Ghibli film with cannibals and some gore.

The thing is, these two early works show that Nishimura can succeed at making all kinds of films whereas everything I have seen of him (feature length and short films alike) since TOKYO GORE POLICE has been basically the exact same type of hyperactive splatter. The fact that the TOKYO GORE POLICE score plays over everything of course may contribute to that impression.

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Re: Yoshihiro Nishimura's next film

Unread postby HungFist » 07 Mar 2014, 03:01

Anatomia Extinction (1995) is my favourite of Nishimura's movies as well, in fact, one of the best Japanese films of the 1990's. The Tsukamoto comparison is spot on -you could swear half of the shots were borrowed from Tokyo Fist weren't Anatomic Extinction actually released before Tokyo Fist. The film deserves to be acknowledged as one of the best cyber punk films ever made.

Speakerman - The Boo (2004) is a nice film, too. A heart-warming fantasy about a lovely mutant creature. The film was shot in Yubari. I actually have a Speakerman keyholder which I wear every time I go to Yubari.

Nishimura's 1980's films are quite good, too.

Paradox (1984)* is an episode film which begins as a street gang / punk film, clearly influenced by Sogo Ishii and Walter Hill's The Warriors. It then turns into a strange fantasy with the God's voice coming from a radio and telling teens what to do, and eventually slasher/splatter with re-animated pieces of meat slaughtering teens on a summer cottage. The score in this episode modelled after John Carpenter's Halloween theme, and there are some great gore effects like a head splitting in two, and brains coming out through eyeholes. Finally, the film concludes with a re-imagining of Michael Jackson's music video Thriller, with a young lady escaping zombies in the night. The four episodes are titled "Paradox", "God Damn", "The Meat", and "Thriller" and all feature the same cast. The film is fully comparable to the 8mm works by Sogo Ishii, despite some small technical flaws, and an amazing achievement from Nishimura who was only 16 years old when he directed it. The film runs roughly 40 minutes.

The Face (1985)* is another early work by Nishimura. This romantic fantasy follows a detective who is killed with an axe, only for his face to mysteriously morph into a young man stomach. Together the young man, who obviously faces challenges in his love life after this new "body part", and the detective's face go searching for the murderer. Hardly any blood and gore, but nice special effect, and just like Paradox, Nishimura really impresses with his skill shooting on lively streets and using energetic 1980's rock and pop music on the soundtrack.

The Saints Come Marching In (1986)* begins as a cheerful youth / high school film, but then takes a sudden turn into horror when its protagonist gets chased by mysterious masked killers in the night. Nishimura jokes the film is un-releasable due to its casting: the leading actors Tokuma and Renho Murata are now famous politicians who don't necessarily want their past in a Nishimura movie to be revealed.

Fake Country (1987)* is the most ambitious of the early Nishimura films. The dark dystopia is set during WWIII, in which Japan is using human missiles. One of the kamikaze pilots, however, tries to escape and chased by army forces. It's visionary but extremely dark film taking place entirely during night time. Nishimura actually submitted it to Pia Film Fest, which did not screen it but received a note from one of the jury members saying he personally thought it was fantastic.

All of the films run 40-50 min each.

* The production years are estimates, since they are not listed in any databases I know of. Nishimura said he directed the first film when he was 16, and the other three when he was 1st/2nd/3rd year student in university

Stills from The Face and The Saints Come Marching In
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Re: Yoshihiro Nishimura's next film

Unread postby HungFist » 09 Mar 2014, 08:59

I found a website with more images from The Face, The Saints Come Marching In and Fake Country:
http://www.theatercafe.jp/schedule/scre ... /03/654/-/

Something seems wrong with the production years, though. The films are listed as 1981, 1982 and 1983 productions, however, that would make Nishimura only 14 years old at the time of the first film (he was born in 1967). Last year in Yubari Nishimura said he directed them in university as 1st, 2nd and 3rd year student. The same information is also conformed by another source here. Furthermore, the cast of the three films (including Renho Murata, who was born in 1967) does not look young enough for them to eb early 80's productions.

While I'm unable to conform the correct years, my guess is that they were made in 1985, 1986 and 1987. Nishimura couldn't have entered university before 1985, and he must have finished Fake Country around 1987 because it was seen by PFF jury member Akira Hoshino, who only served till March 1988.

Speaking of which, there is a very funny mistake in last year's Yubari Festival Catalogue, where the English translator mistook bikini model Aki Hoshino (born in 1977, making her around 10 years old at the time) for film critic Akira Hoshino :lol:

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Re: Yoshihiro Nishimura's next film

Unread postby HungFist » 23 Mar 2014, 14:27

HungFist wrote:I'm not sure how much I can say about this because it's not announced by the studio yet, but Nishimura mentioned in Yubari that he will start filming his next film this month.

Meanwhile, see this promotion video he directed for Iga Ninja Film Festival which will be held in Iga in August 2014:
http://youtu.be/VK9mZ9AG4fI

Festival website:
http://iga-ninja.com/

The ninja girls from the video were, of course, also present in Yubari slicing and killing people (no, actually just singing and dancing)


ok, as some of you maybe already figured out, Nishimura's next movie is a ninja film. The title is Torakage (虎影) ("tiger shadow")) and filming begun today. It will open at Iga Ninja Film Festival in August.
- https://twitter.com/zeonic_dragon/statu ... 2914969600

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Re: Yoshihiro Nishimura's upcoming ninja film: Torakage (201

Unread postby HungFist » 27 Mar 2014, 04:26

Wrote a full review of Paradox (1984)
- http://sketchesofcinema.wordpress.com/2 ... 6/paradox/

Received the screencaptures from Nishimura. Very kind of him even though he was in the middle of pre-production of his new film. A few more screens in the Finnish version here:
http://www.elitisti.net/artikkeli/2014/ ... imura.html
(the "poster" is just poor custom work by me... I needed to put something in the poster field, and since there's no actual poster art I had to come up with something...)

edit: and the other early works:
http://sketchesofcinema.wordpress.com/2 ... rly-works/

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Re: Yoshihiro Nishimura's upcoming ninja film: Torakage (201

Unread postby HungFist » 01 Apr 2014, 13:36

Filming in Iga finished yesterday. That was only 9 days! Nishimura keeping his usual pace. There's some more shooting left, though, as they are now looking for extras for more scenes to be shot in Kawaguchi, Saitama later this week.

Oh, and I think the full title is actually Ninja Torakage.

A bit early, I know, but I'm already getting really exited about this film. Locations look perfect for a ninja film:


Image

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Photos by Norman England, Iga Ninja blog and Miyata
- https://twitter.com/Norman_England/status/450557440560332800/photo/1
- https://twitter.com/Norman_England/status/448710179681345536/photo/1/large
- https://twitter.com/2011miyata/status/450834629440712705/photo/1/large
- http://iga-ninja.sblo.jp/article/91503819.html

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Re: Yoshihiro Nishimura's upcoming film: Ninja Torakage (201

Unread postby HungFist » 20 Apr 2014, 10:33

Norman England's blog:

Back on the Nishimura set
- http://oavian.blogspot.jp/2014/04/back- ... a-set.html

A very interesting read.

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Re: Yoshihiro Nishimura's upcoming film: Ninja Torakage (201

Unread postby HungFist » 25 Aug 2014, 17:14

More on Norman England's blog:

Coming Soon: The Ninja War of Torakage
- http://oavian.blogspot.jp/2014/08/comin ... akage.html

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Re: Yoshihiro Nishimura's upcoming film: Ninja Torakage (201

Unread postby HungFist » 11 Mar 2015, 12:39


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Re: Yoshihiro Nishimura's upcoming film: Ninja Torakage (201

Unread postby Guro Taku » 15 Mar 2015, 17:06

Is it just for the teaser or are they using the TOKYO GORE POLICE music yet again?

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Re: Yoshihiro Nishimura's upcoming film: Ninja Torakage (201

Unread postby HungFist » 27 Mar 2015, 17:38


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Re: Yoshihiro Nishimura's upcoming film: Ninja Torakage (201

Unread postby Guro Taku » 27 Mar 2015, 20:18

Looks pretty good! I remain cautiously optimistic about this one.

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Re: Yoshihiro Nishimura's upcoming film: Ninja Torakage (201

Unread postby Guro Taku » 05 Apr 2015, 11:22

HungFist wrote:Ninja Torakage is rated G (same as Doraemon) despite the pressured blood showers and a bird mutant whose wings are made of severed human hands...

You mean this one?
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Re: Yoshihiro Nishimura's upcoming film: Ninja Torakage (201

Unread postby HungFist » 05 Apr 2015, 12:05

Yep

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Re: Yoshihiro Nishimura's upcoming film: Ninja Torakage (201

Unread postby HungFist » 18 Aug 2015, 09:39

I love Nishimura but I'm afraid this is his weakest film. One problem is the strange imbalance between adult's and children's content. The film was always intended to appeal to young audience and carries a G rating in Japan; nevertheless, it's packed with mutants and fountains of blood. There are decapitations, hands cut off, a ninja slashed into three pieces, and a strange bird mutant whose wings are made of severed human arms. It's less graphic than usual for a Nishimura film, but by Western standards this would still be rated R or 15.

Then we have all the childish stuff, like discussion about poo, and this incredibly irritating Portuguese guy Francis who pops up every 15 minutes to explain some ninja technique or tell the audience what's going on. Not only does he butcher the pacing, he also steals the audience the chance realize anything by themselves. Anything clever and surprising becomes remarkably less so after he has explained them inside out (before the scene has even finished). If you've seen Kurando Mitsutake's Blind Wolf: Samurai Avenger, you know what I'm talking about.

The action scenes seem rushed and pretty messy most of the time. There's a lot of talent involved, like Masanori Mimoto, Nana Seino, and Yuria Haga, but especially the girls are pretty much wasted. There's also a terrible green screen fight ala Helldriver where any physical talent is drowned by the computer effects. However, the final fight with Mimoto, Saito, and a ninja army, features some great bits of action. I'd be willing to bet Yuji Shimomura choreographed those bits, while Tak Sakaguchi (working under alias) probably did the rest.

The film generally looks and feels a lot like a Nishimura film, even though everything feels a bit less good here. Koh Nakagawa's score has its moments, but it isn't as cool as some of his past scores. The mix of music and visuals in action scenes kind of lacks the Tokyo Gore Police / Mutant Girls Squad punch, the musical numbers are a bit lame, the endless yelling and psychotic characters are getting a bit old, and there are some poor CGI explosions.

It's still a passable film. There are some good bits of action, some cool creature design, one nice stop motion effect, and most of the time it's not boring. The filming locations and the production values in general are above your typical ninja trash as well (compare to Seiji Chiba, who shoot his every movie in the same bloody cave). Oh, and wait for the compulsory Takashi Shimizu cameo! Overall, however, the film does feel quite underwhelming. I really wanted to like this more...

Francis!
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Western children's films usually don't have scenes like this:
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Or creatures like this
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Mimoto and Seino
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This is a genuinely cool scene
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And well, ninjas are always cool
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Re: Yoshihiro Nishimura's upcoming film: Ninja Torakage (2014)

Unread postby Guro Taku » 28 Jun 2016, 19:08

This already came out on DVD/BD via Happinet on January 6th:

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Re: Yoshihiro Nishimura's upcoming film: Ninja Torakage (201

Unread postby Guro Taku » 16 Jul 2016, 12:51

HungFist wrote:Oh, and wait for the compulsory Takashi Shimizu cameo!

That was my favorite part of the film. It must confuse the hell out of normal audiences but I'm glad they put it in there.

I pretty much agree with everything you've said in your review so there's not much else to add...

The pachinko wall climbing scene made me chuckle despite the dodginess of the effects work, Menashi is a rather cool looking mutant thingie, it's always pleasant to see Eihi Shiina chew the fuck out of all available scenery... But yeah this is one uneven flick and it has many problems.


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