Yokai Monsters (Japan, 1968) [35mm] – 3/5
An entertaining family monster film. The Japanese title Yokai daisenso (The Great Yokai War) is the same as the 2005 Takashi Miike film which, however, isn’t much of a remake. Considering the title, there is very little in terms of yokai war except for the last 10 minutes.

Young Beast: Secret Pleasures (Japan, 1980) [35mm] – 1/5
A lousy attempt at arthouse Roman Porno by Kazunori Takeda. The true story follows a student who is bothered by his parents who keep fucking while he’s trying to study for entrance exams. He eventually goes crazy. Misery drama with unattractive people done without much skill. The erotic value is below zero as well.

Tokyo Tribe (Japan, 2014) [DCP] – 4/5
Against all expectations, Sion Sono’s battle rap musical is a pretty damn badass film for most of the time. The film is set in the dystopian Tokyo which is ruled by violent rapper gangs. The production design is breathtaking, the film is packed with stunning tracking shots and there’s pretty good HK and Thai influenced martial. Sono also doesn’t forget about ridiculously masculine mayhem and frequent female nudity. Unfortunately the film also comes with too many characters and too little story, which burden the film towards the end, and miserable CGI one must wonder why on earth does Sono keep putting it in his movies? Even then, the film is a blast!

Shady (Japan, 2012) [DCP] – 3/5
Highly praised debut feature by Ryohei Watanabe doesn't quite live up to the hype. The film begins as a tale of two high school girls' friendship, and then proceeds to become a psychological study that isn't quite that original, however. There are good moments throughout, and the post-credits sequence is brilliant, but the film is also slightly artificial and clumsy at times. However, for a 25 year old director's first feature film it's certainly a promising start.

I’m amazed I finally managed to catch this in theatre. It was playing in Tokyo 1.5 years ago, but it finished a few days before I arrived the city during my travel. The next time I was in Tokyo it was set to play a few days after I left. There was even one screening this summer when I was in Tokyo again, but The Street Fighter (1974) was playing at the same time, so, no. Now it finally had two screenings in Sapporo, and during the first I was in Tokyo of all places. Managed to catch it in the second screening.