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Matt Kennedy Is Panik House


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.

I spoke to Matt while he was hosting the Panik House Booth at the Fangoria Horror Conference in Chicago. Although the conference was highly advertised and touted, and the attendance was indeed impressive, Panik House was the lone representative of Japanese (and any Asian for that matter) cult/horror films. By far, the vast majority (if not sheer total) of any Fangoria conference is wholly dedicated to Euro-American Horror, and so it was personally very gratifying to see such a steady stream of interested fans stopping by the Panik House booth and expressing either praise or interest in these Japanese titles. This is no doubt one reason Matt was grinning so widely while we chatted.

The second (and perhaps more important?) reason he was smiling is that Panik House's Miss Pinky Violence Contest (I kid you not!!) finally comes to a close tomorrow when one lucky (HOT! YOUNG!! FEMALE!!!) contestant will be chosen for the honor. The winner will be named at the Fangoria Horror Conference and will be announced by none other than Chicago's premier shock-jock Mancow Muller (who, by the way, cut in front of me driving a new mustang GTO while I was waiting to park my car [a 2004 honda civic]...] :P Although I personally can't wait to see Miss Pinky Violence (and am quite curious as to the job description of her new position), I'm sure Matt is sitting on pins and needles! (ha!)

The winner's photo will be posted on the Panik House site, and I'll try to post it here (if and) as soon as is possible.

Well, I'm personally excited that Matt Kennedy and Panik House are in such geographic proximity to SaruDama. As a habitual "reviewer" I know very well the (almost) unspoken and implicit divide/disappointment most (established) reviewers of Japanese films feel toward distributors. And I'm the first to admit such discontent derives from a general ECLIPSE of communication between distributors and core fans of their product. Common items of contention have often involved the (hidden) reasoning behind modifications to the titles or cover graphics of Western releases or the time and effort actually taken to license and release a Japanese title. In this regard, everything I've heard from Matt Kennedy has been quite informative and this (continued) insight will no doubt add to the accuracy of SaruDama's reviews.

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