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Welcome to the New New Wave

Horror Fans! Please take note:

There is a new and innovative project underway which will prove to be a first of its kind. British film makers Tom Atkinson and Luke Dormehl have pioneered the notion of an exclusively fan-based horror film, using the internet as the primary medium of promotion and funding. The 10 Pound Horror Film has thus far received the blessing and support of an international array of horror directors and droves of horror enthusiasts and fans.

You are invited to join and participate in the development and production of this horror film through a contribution of "10 pounds" ($14 US). Fan-based support is the SOLE source of film funding, thus truly making this the first grassroots funded horror film. In addition to simply being part of this rather fun and cutting-edge project, your contribution will get you stuff, including a free personalized frame of the film (a piece of horror film history!) and membership benefits including access to exclusive film content and director-moderated discussion forums.

SaruDama encourages you to check this out and consider contributing to the project. Its a small amount of money and the effort is indeed ground-breaking. The internet has provided a very successful platform for groundswell support in various instances, from political to artistic. Now its time for we of the online fan-base to rock the horror film industry!

Let the world know we support and encourage new, viewer-centric horror films!

For more about the project, membership benefits and how to contribute your 10 pounds, check out The 10 Pound Horror Film site.

Flowers From Hell: The modern Japanese horror film

Genre: Thorough Exploration of Contemporary Japanese Horror

Author: Jim Harper (2008)

review in one breath

Penned by our good friend Jim Harper, Flowers From Hell offers a highly readable and detailed exploration through the labyrinthine corridors of Japan's horror cinema. In contrast to many recent books on this topic, Harper wisely avoids the "catalog" approach and instead offers readers a thorough, engaging and often humorous discussion of J-Horror's chronological and topical developments. Fans of Japanese Horror, whether nOOb or veteran, will easily find this book both entertaining and educational.

Kimi Yokota was born in 1921 in Tokyo, Japan where she lived until her mid-thirties. After agreeing to an arranged marriage with an older Japanese gentleman living in the U.S. she traveled to Chicago and there lived until her death following sudden and tragic complications from a stroke in 1995.

Kimi's husband had long since passed away by the time I met her as a college student in 1986. Through my friendship with Japanese students, I soon became a regular at Kimi's home. She gave me my first Japanese language primer which I continue to use to this day and was a primary catalyst in my decision to delve into Japanese culture. (I watched my first Japanese movie at her home.) She taught me how to make maki-zushi. Everyone, including the other little Japanese women, envied her skill at making Saba nigiri zushi (the taste of which I still remember). With her I watched my first Kohaku. She told me vivid stories of her childhood memories of the firebombs falling on Tokyo "like fireworks". Through her I was introduced to core portions of Chicago's Japanese community -- ties I still keep.

Kimi was cremated and buried alongside her husband in Montrose Cemetery on the north side of Chicago. Angels looking down probably see it like this.

I was one of the 5 people including the clergy present at her burial. I literally buried her with the shovel in my hand. I laid her to rest.

I had the pleasure of meeting Matt Kennedy, President of Panik House this weekend at the Fangoria Horror Conference here in Chicago. Both Matt and Panik House moved from Los Angeles to Chicago in December 2005, no doubt to escape the oppressive warmth and sunshine of the West Coast.

This guy (Matt Kennedy) has been single-handedly responsible for Panik House's recent release of several excellent Japanese titles, such as Sex and Fury, its sequel Female Yakuza Tale, and the entire The Pinky Violence Collection. Panik House's most recent Japanese title release is Tokyo Psycho, a 2004 film by Tomie director Oikawa Ataru, SaruDama's review of which is in the que.

In addition to these Japanese titles, Panik House has also recently released Bangkok Haunted (2001) and Omen (2003), two Thai horror films which have both received widespread positive reviews (and awards).

I had already reviewed all of the The Pinky Violence Collection prior to talking to Matt and had constructed my own theories regarding the collection as a whole (which you can find in the reviews) but through my discussion and brief exchange of e-mail with him, a whole new window of perspective into the process of compiling the collection came into view. (For example, you can read his informative comment to one of my reviews here.) For this reason I hope to post here an interview with him in the near future.

Blessed Be The Fan Base

For those of you curious about SaruDama, let me divulge that I was not born with a Japanese film grasped in my goopy little hand. No. I want you all to know that my unrivaled skill in Z-grade film analysis and ninja-ette bOObie parlay is something I have spent considerable years and effort in perfecting. But without doubt, one of the primary inspirations on my venture thus far has been Snowblood Apple.

Run by the husband-wife team of Alex and Mandi Apple, Snowblood provides a truly robust discussion forum for fans of Japanese and other Asian film. I'm serious. Check it out.

As a community forum, Snowblood is undoubtedly one of the core pillars of the contemporary J-Horror/ Asian-Horror Underground.

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