Konnichiwa! Ni Hao! Hola! Straight Outta Kanto here with a little director spotlight for you this week! Just like you guys I am a die-hard Asian horror fan and have spent the last decade scouring the internet in order to devour as much exotic spookiness as my poor jangling nerves could handle.
Over the years for us J-horror fanatics, names such as a Takashi Miike, Sion Sono, Takashi Shimizu and Hideo Nakata become as familiar to us as the names of our own relatives. It’s almost impossible to recommend any Asian horror movies to a single curious soul without the works of at least two or more of the aforementioned directors being included.
However, there’s one director I’ve “discovered” recently whose name I rarely hear mentioned but has contributed phenomenally to the J-Horror treasury: Koji Shiraishi. Now, I say I recently discovered him, that’s because it’s only recently I’ve discovered that he is fact behind many of my all time favourite J-Horror movies. “How is that even possible?” I hear you ask!
Well, when a director is as diverse in his themes and style as Koji Shiraishi is, it’s an easy fact to discover late. (Especially in Ireland where access to Asian horror resources are minimal.)
From the eerie found footage endeavors of Noroi: the curse and Occult, to Creepypasta-tastic Carved: the Slit Mouthed Woman, Teke Teke and Jurei: the Uncanny. Extremity exploitation sexual shocker Grotesque and not forgetting the mainstream monstrosity that was Sadako Versus Kayako. To name but a few.
Each movie is unusual and unsettling in its own unique way. Any single one of those cinematic experiences individually would be a worthy addition to the halls of Asian horror fame. (Yes. Even Sadako Versus Kayako, I think it’s a great little flick!) So, to think that one man is responsible for not just one but ALL of those movies and has thus contributed so much collectively to J-Horror history and canon is definitely worth an auld nod.
Straight Outta Kanto is the nerdy nom de plume of international horror-shock musician, illustrator and radio personality Venus de Vilo.
Straight Outta Kanto is a podcast and review blog dedicated to bringing it’s audience the warped and weirdest in nerd culture, nightmare fuel and 90s/00s nostalgia.
Champion of the Shurikon 2018 Pokémon League competition, certified VGC Dragon Gym Leader and CEO of Pokémon Fan Club Ireland, Straight Outta Kanto is an unapologetic otaku and psychotic J-Horror fanatic.