Sunday, March 6, 2011

HELLDRIVER Tokyo Premiere

Quick entry here:

Friday night saw the Tokyo premiere of the Sushi Typhoon movie HELLDRIVER. A zombie movie, it was the closing movie in a week of zombie films playing at the Human Trust Theater in Shibuya. 

Kind of an odd name for a movie theater, especially one showing zombie films...

I went earlier in the week and caught a screening of DAY OF THE DEAD, which I hadn't seen in a theater since its first run back in 1985, although I have seen it countless times since on video, Laser Disc, DVD and now Blu-Ray. I have to say, DAY has aged well, and might even look better now than it did back in the day. (Get it? "Back in the day"? OK. I'll stop now...) Day movie has some of the best dialogue of all time. Even when there are no zombies or visuals to keep your attention, your attention is kept because of the intensity of its words. Of course the dialogue is liberally peppered with vulgarity, but so what? Life is vulgar. Don't blame Romero; don't blame the messenger!

The HELLDRIVER screening was utter insanity, as any event centering around director Nishimura and his band of filmmakers usually is. He did his usually "fundoshi" appearance, which isn't really but looks very much like a diaper. He was on stage swinging the prop of the baby zombie by its umbilical chord and having a grand time.

The cast of HELLDRIVER turned out as well, and everyone got on stage to say something about the film following the screening. Set stories and other fun comments, all lead by Nishimura in his diaper and with that dead fetus. I was called on stage to say a few words about my part in the film. I even wore my "Bach's Arco Pitcairn" T-shirt, which is what I wear in the film. 

Also, as it was a screening of the "international version," the film shown this night had subtitles I wrote. It was my first time to see them in a theater and I'm really happy over how they looked and read. I did a number of unorthodox things in them, and one in particular went over really well. When subbing, I feel it is important to create a speech pattern for each character. This way the subs become an organic element of the film.

One of the most fun things of the night was during the screening, I went out onto the streets of Shibuya with HELLDRIVER lead zombie Ken Kishi. We did a photo shoot while he was scaring everyone on the street! I swear, the guy is fearless!

Following the party we had a staff/cast dinner, and then in the wee hours of the night, a few of us went to a bar and drank until the sun rose. Although unconventional, Nishimura and the people around him are some of the best people I've met and befriended in Japan. I'm proud to contribute to his films.

Until the next entry...


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