News Sushi: Morsels of News from Japan and Beyond #4


“It’s the end of the world as we know it… and I feel fine!”

Sometimes you have to bury your head under the sand to be able to face another day… but at other times, you can only stare into the face of darkness and scream. So, today, we look at some stories that have done just that – stare in the face of darkness.

“Let’s start WW3” by World Order

Yes, I’m starting here. I know there’s no way to top that… but, it’s a great song, very Pet Shop Boys. You might know them from the Tokyo Olympics bid track, “Welcome to Tokyo” (… but this new song is more in line with their other work. “World Order” (the band not the conspiracy theory) is lead by Genki Sudo (a former Kickboxing champion) and super hot guy.

But, he’s not just a pretty face, he writes the songs, directs the videos, and choreographs the dance moves.

From the youtube comments:
“Little Facts about this Video: In the USA, they asked passers-by to hold the camera to shoot the video. Once, the camera was stolen, and they chased the grabber to take it back. They had only 4 hours to shoot the video there. The whole music video was made with a hundred thousand yen (around 1000 USD). (Source: Genki Sudo’s Twitter. Translation @Takao M )”
If you want to know more, check out their official website

If you remember me talking about Adrian Austin last week, here’s some of his work that you can read right now…

“Slowburn Poison” is one of those great old pot-boiler detective/noir stories. From the blurb, “Down on his luck and behind on his rent, Victor Morgan is a P.I who knows a thing or two about survival. When a reclusive millionaire hires him on a seemingly straightforward case, Vic uncovers a conspiracy that will have him questioning his identity.”

There are four chapters to enjoy. Perhaps we can encourage Adrian to finish the story? Tweet him here: @doogaspeace

Staying with Film Noir… we have a fun little LA web series, “Hollywood Hitmen”:

Hollywood Hitmen is a fast-talking dark comedy starring Enver Gjokaj and Maximilian Osinski as two insecure and highly neurotic hitmen struggling to make a name for themselves in L.A.’s bizarre community of contract killers.

An irreverent parody of Los Angeles and the entertainment industry, this comedy portrays the hilarious and sometimes poetic sadness of the contract killers’ constant desire to succeed while they continually get in their own way

Hollywood Hitmen was written and produced by a group of friends who you’ve seen together in projects such as The Express, Dollhouse, and Last Resort. With Hollywood Hitmen, this team’s goal was to take matters into their hands and make something entirely on their own.

It stars Maximilian Osinski (who is Dichen’s husband by the way) & Enver Gjokaj (who you might know from ‘Dollhouse’). It also features Cerina Vincent (Cabin Fever), and Dichen Lachman (Dollhouse).

Andrea Van Scoyoc, who readers of this website might remember as the musician behind my “Lost hope” music video, has announced her retirement (it was on her twitter page, which she has since deleted). I really hope that she enjoys her retirement (she seems to be on her private facebook)… so, I wanted to remember her work as a weaver of horror tales…

Firstly with the great little vignette, “Boarder Patrol”:

Which is a kind of zombie tale, but ultimately twists your expectations. “It’s their world now”. If you enjoy the short film, perhaps you might be interested in her short stories and novels that are on Amazon:

So, if you are so inclined, raise a glass to Andrea, and let’s all hope she enjoys her well earned rest!

From horror to thrillers, comes “Charlotte”. A new feature film that’s been made by Nima Ra’oofi, who is an Iranian-Australian filmmaker I met while in Cannes a few years ago. He’s probably most well known for the viral video “My shoes”:

He’s now made his debut feature film, “Charlotte”, which you can watch now on vimeo.

Charlotte from Nima Raoofi on Vimeo.

Logline: “After losing her memory in a car crash, Renee struggles to connect with her newborn daughter. What she doesn’t know is that her life is about to take another turn.”

Staying in the thriller lane, we have another great filmmaker who I met at Cannes, Albert Ventura. He’s a Spanish filmmaker who has lived in Japan and Taiwan, and he makes very smart thrillers. First up, we have his short film, “Script”:


Four strangers participate in a psychological experiment in a dark space with nothing else than a table and four envelopes. They are getting payed 100.000 yen to sit in there for 10 minutes, but it wont be as easy as it seems…

Short movie “Script” shot in Japan 2011. Directed and written by Albert Ventura, actually looking for sponsors for the long feature version. If you are interested in collaborating please contact:

The film was also lensed by Paul Leeming who is the DP behind my upcoming feature film, “Kodokushi”.

Albert also made this fine short film, “給愛麗絲 FUR ELISE” which was set in Taiwan, also a thriller:

Ashin (Zhang Zhai Xing) is in a local night market when he meets Elise (Yi-He Chiu), a girl that will involve him into a mysterious game.

Albert Ventura links:

Speaking of Paul Leeming, his short sci-fi film, “Birth” is about to cross 40K views, so if you haven’t already, it’s well worth checking out. It asks the question, what would you do with the birth of A.I.?

Finally, a short horror film that promises to do for the Asexual community what “Get out” did for the African-American community, “2 Weeks”.

From the page: “2 WEEKS accompanies Tanya, a 20-something, asexual. She is struggling to find a balance between honoring her sexuality, the commitment she made when she fell in love with her partner, and pursuing a career in an industry that perpetuates women’s worth based on sex appeal. With has no place to escape, Tanya starts to drown. While Tanya’s immediate circle is woke to sexual empowerment, her friends cannot relate to a person who is comfortable living without sex. In 2 WEEKS we see Tanya arrive at her second coming out.”

So, an asexual in sexual hollywood. A very real life horror. The producer, Marzy Hart also has a feature film, “The Fever and the Fret” which just got into the Queens World Film Festival. And the director, also directed “Gold Star”, which is available on Amazon. It is also Robert Vaughn’s last & final film credit due to his death on November 11 2016 from Leukemia.

Editor Note: Below is a correction Hamish received:
I got a message from Marzy Hart (producer of the short film “2 weeks”:

“Hey Hamish! Thank you so much for including 2 weeks in your post! I have one tiny correction. “The Fever & The Fret” was actually directed by our editor Cath Gulick and it’s produced by our director Victoria Negri. Stacey Maltin (producer) and I produced the feature “Landing Up” which Stacey also wrote and starred in and it’s coming out on May 15th.”

Good luck Marzy with the release of “Landing up” (trailer below)! Also congratulations on getting “2 weeks” [] 72% funded!

Landing Up – Official Trailer from Stacey Maltin on Vimeo.

Sorry, just one more thing…. a quick shout out to Brian Kirst of the “Big Gay Horror Fan” website… who’s just turned 50, and looking sexier than ever…

So…this is 50! #illtakeit #birthdayselfie #goodmorning #luckyguy

A post shared by Brian Kirst (@big_gay_horror_fan) on

He also wrote an amazing personal story on his website recently, which is really all about staring into the face of darkness. “Ghosts”

“The Trade”

Wrestling fans might know him as Nick “Sick” Mondo, but I know him as Matt, the AD on Paul Leeming’s short film “Pieces of 8” and the guy who gave great editing suggestions for our short film “An American Piano”. Matt recently made a biographical documentary on how he got out of Underground Wrestling and what drove him back in the ring one last time. Now, I’ve never watched a wrestling match in my life, so I didn’t know him from a bar of soap. But, there were some wrestling fans at the shoot who did know him, and seemed very star struck. I just know him as a really nice, hard-working guy. But, if you take a look at the trailer, you’ll see that he wrestles with a lot of demons:

His film is available now on Amazon Video, and I strongly recommend that you watch it. It’s probably not for the faint of heart, as it does get violent, and going into some dark territories, but I believe it’s well worth the watch. It screened around the world on the Lift Off Film Festival circuit, but unfortunately missed out on a cinema release as distributors were too scared. So, take a look, and support a genuinely good guy.

10 years after his retirement, “death-match” wrestler Nick Mondo is distressed to find a younger generation mimicking his former self-destructive antics.


“The Darkest”

If anyone follows the Facebook group MadFlix, you have probably heard of Phil who runs the group. Recently he branched out into becoming a sales agent for mostly genre films which didn’t pick up distribution, but are still worthwhile films. One of these films is a French indie horror film, “The Darkest”, which recently reached the top 10 on the French Horror iTunes. It’s out now on Amazon, so if you are interested in discovering new horror filmmakers, please check it out:

Blurb: A struggling couple travels in the wilderness hoping to give their relationship a second breath however they did not come alone.

The film was directed by Robin Entreinger and stars Claire Suchet and Valentin Bonhomme.

Thank you all! This was a big one!

See you next time!

Missing Tokyo very much 📷 by @e_x_z_i 🌾☂

A post shared by Noémie Sebayashi (@nattofranco) on

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