New York Premiere
70 minutes, in Japanese with English subtitles
Directed by: Takayuki Hirao
Starring: Mirai Kataoka, Takuma Negishi, Ami Taniguchi, Masami Saeki
Saturday, July 14 @ 5:30pm (buy tickets)
Who would have thought the apocalypse would come in the form of bio-mechanical fart-propelled mutant zombie fish that spontaneously sprout spindly mechanical legs? Who else but the famed horror manga artist Junji Ito, the psycho genius behind such impossibly off-kilter creations as Tomie and Uzumaki? Based on Ito’s mind-warping tale “Gyo-the Death Stench Creeps” and directed by Takayuki Hirao (Futakoi Alternative), with Takuro Takahashi (Kara no Kyōkai – the Garden of Sinners) in charge of character design, this is the first animated feature adapted from one of the creep master’s twisted tales. GYO focuses on Kaori, a college-aged girl-next-door, who is attacked by rotting sea creatures while on holiday with her girlfriends in Okinawa. They somehow survive by the skin of their teeth (but not without some serious trauma) but she loses cell phone contact with her boyfriend Tadashi back in Tokyo and, fearing that this is not just the standard crappy network coverage, she rushes back to the capital. There, she finds that the megalopolis has been infested by the stinky walking fish as well as four-legged sharks and squids emerging from the sea to inflict all kinds of exotic body horror on Japanese society, and to spread their monstrous “death stench.”
As if the concept of spider-legged, carnivorous rotting seafood coming to life and eating your peaceful neighborhood wasn’t weird enough, it gets much worse, as it becomes apparent that the walking fish are not the only thing that the good people of Japan have to be worry about. The result of these very weird movies that makes for immensely entertaining horror anime which looks like Junji Ito, is disgusting like Junji Ito, is screwed up like Junji Ito, but is not Junji Ito. Just a bold, well-made agglomeration of extreme horrific grotesqueries compacted into 70 very, very dense minutes. This is stuff so horrifying, in fact, that it might not just give you the creeps for a night, it will keep you checking over your shoulder and sniffing for the death stench for years to come. Those seafood platters will never look the same after this.