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Angel Guts - Coming Soon

Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 5:45 am
by ArtsmagicDVD
Here's some information on Angel Guts - sorry for the length of this post.

ArtsmagicDVD is now in a position to announce that it has acquired the North American rights to the Japan...and notorious...abroad....Angel Guts series. This series has been described by critic Pete Tombs as being the breakthrough movies that enabled the current surge in Easter horror to take place. They also mark the introduction of director Takashi Ishii to the movie business, since it was his manga, Tenshi no harawata (Angel Guts), that led to the creation of the series, and finally to his emergence as not just screenplay writer but director.Beginning in 1979, the latest Angel Guts was made in 1994. As a director, Ishii is perhaps best known for Gonin.

This is ArtsmagicDVDs first venture into the world of Japanese erotic cinema, and for many Westerners, it is a very strange world indeed. This is partly due to the West's taboos on subjects covered, which include SM relationships and rape. Anything to do with SM receives the censor's shears in many countries, if any filmmaker is brave or foolhardy enough to attempt to deal with the subject. Where rape takes place, it is nearly always undertaken by easily identified social misfits, usually psychopaths, or bad-ass gangs of youths. Artmagic has experienced what happens when these films are placed before the UK censor. Back in 2002, with the permission of Nikkatsu, we decided to submit two of the series to the British Board of Film Censorship. These were Red Classroom (Akai Kyoshitsu) and Red Dizziness (Akai Memai), and both came back with the demand for cuts to be made: Red Dizziness cuts amounted to 41 seconds and Red Classroom 29 seconds. We decided that we were not happy to comply with these demands.....many of our movies had already suffered from the attention of the censor...and withdrew them.

Critics tell us that Japanese sex films divide into two basic categories, which are both generally known as "pinku" cinema, a term that seems to have come into being around the early sixties, and may refer to pink flesh in American porn. "Pinku" proper refers to the lower budget products, whereas Nikkatsu created a category of film all of it's own, known as roman-porno, which mixes "romance" with porn. (In fact, if you look on many of the Japanese wraps, the katkana reads "romance series" mention there of porn.) Both styles include serious exploitation movies. In other words, although their purpose is to appeal to the voyeur in us, the subjects they tackle are treated more seriously than those of many mainstream cinema products. Where roman-porno sets itself apart is in the use of larger budgets and consequently a glossier look and feel to the viewing experience. But both have proved fertile ground for the quickening of directorial talent. Crossover directors include the now feted Kiyoshi Kurosawa, as well as Koji Wakamatsu, Noboru Tanaka, Toshiharu Ikeda, and Hideo Nakata of Ringu fame. Indeed, Nakata served his apprenticeship in the business, and thought so highly of it that he recently paid tribute to his master, Masaru Konuma, in a documentary entitled Sadistic and Masochistic.

The five Angel Guts movies are to be released in digi pack form this March...if we can put the package together in time. The directors involved include Chusei Sone, a man who spent his whole career in roman-porno, was a seminal influence, and, in our opinion, one of its greatest directors. His offerings are High School Coed and Red Classroom. The script for the former was written by Toshiharu Ikeda. Ikeda, best known as director of Evil Dead Trap, (which was incidentally scripted by Takashi Ishii), went on to direct Red Porno. Noboru Tanaka, who directed Village of Doom, was in charge of the most horrific of the series, with scenes involving gut wrenching mutilation. Its title is Nami. All Ishii's heroines are called Nami, but this is the only film of that name. Finally, Ishii himself emerged to direct Red Dizziness.

This is a collection of important directors all dealing with the same theme, rape, and all centre around a girl called Nami. The results range from poignant to nauseating. You never doubt the seriousness of directorial input. The rapists may be youth gangs, they may be psychopaths, but they are more likely to be the unfortunate and inadequate. The heavily censored British have one of the highest incidents of rape in the world, the Japanese one of the lowest.

Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 1:56 pm
by Latte Thunder
Please do us all a favor and advertise elsewhere.

Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:19 pm
by DylanDog
I'm surprised at that response. Personally, I'd love to see more Nikkatsu stuff released on dvd. Especially since I could never bring myself to drop the $40 per tape ACC was looking for while they had the rights.

Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 5:44 pm
by Chris Slack
Latte Thunder wrote:Please do us all a favor and advertise elsewhere.
I think yer being a little hard on the man, Artsmagic has brought a lot of killer shit out stateside with more extras than any previous Japanese releases. Phil (the guy who I assume is going the posting) loves his Asian cinema so it's not like it's all about the money or anything.

Let's wait and see if there's any feedback to the suggestions on the other post before we go out of our way to brand the man a spammer, besides the forum isn't such a hotbed of activity that other posts are being pushed off the front page :)

Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 7:13 pm
by Latte Thunder
Alright, alright. Sorry. A lot of my favorite forums are slammed with "relevant" advertisers and it always contributes to a steady decline of the forums in general. I'm a little touchy about it.

Don't get me started on usenet, either.

This whole Dimebag thing has me upset, too. :whine:

Posted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 7:07 pm
Yeah, it's spam. Fuck Artsmagic for that. But I have to turn around and praise them for actually releasing The Angel Guts films on DVD. One of my most sought after series. Now I don't have to buy any bootlegs which I was putting off.

Now if you guys can acquire the Japanese film House (Housu) 1977 for distribution, it'll make my month.

Posted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 7:54 am
by ArtsmagicDVD
We are suprised by the response in this forum thread but would like to thank the people who have praised us about our releases.

Yes, a lot forums are slammed with "relevant" advertisers but this thread inparticular gives you some information about the Angel Guts series and that we are releasing it.

We're striving to achieve the best quality we can when bringing these previously unreleased titles to the North American and UK audience. We are very strong believers that these Japanese releases are deserving of our attention and attempt to furnish them with as many extras as we can get our hands on.

We welcome all comments that you have about any of our releases.

Posted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 2:11 pm
by Latte Thunder
Again, Artsmagic, I apologize. You caught me on a bad day. If Chris gives you the thumbs up, then I'll just shut up.

Posted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 4:42 am
by ArtsmagicDVD

Reply for "Robert":'s a film we'd like to do, but we can't get the right deal. Unfortunately, this applies to so many suggestions of great films.

Reply to "Latte Thunder":

Apology accepted, we have to see if "Chris" give this a thumbs up.

If you have any suggestions or questions, please use this thread:

Angel Guts - Trailers online

Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 8:34 am
by ArtsmagicDVD
Here is some more information for those who are interested about The Angel Guts Series.

Trailers are now online:
High School Coed
Red Classroom
Red Porno
Red Vertigo

There has been very little seen of Nikkatsu roman-porno, or indeed of pinku cinema in the States, and we hope that what we're doing will firmly establish the importance of this genre within the context of Japanese, and indeed, Asian cinema. OK, there's no doubt that Nikkatsu got involved in it originally to make a buck....the studio was likely to go belly up, and turning a trick or two helped stabilize them. But we shouldn't be too cynical, nor underestimate the courage of the company in moving in a direction that was bound to call down on them the wrath of the pure and preachy. Nikkatsu was the oldest film company in Japan, with a history going all the way back to the era of silent movies, and with a catalogue including the most highly respected directors from that period on. What it helped to create was little short of a revolution, although academics would tell you that the eroticism, including the ero gro or erotic grotesque, has its roots way back to the Japanese wood block prints of the 19th century if not before.

Prior to this release, the only major example of this cinema to have been distributed in the US is Wife To Be Sacrificed, which received a glowing tribute from The Chicago Tribune, amongst other newspapers. We hope this is an indication that the West no longer so deeply imbibing the unholy mix of puritan hypocrisy on the one hand, and political correctness on the other that it is unable to take a measured look at the pinku genre.

How important it was, and how sincere the artists involved were can be gauged by our first interview, which was with Noboru Tanaka. This is a director practically unknown in the States, though a couple of his works have been put out in the UK. Pagan Films released Walker In The Attic and Sada Abe: Docu Drama. The latter is a version of the same true story that inspired Oshima's renowned Ai No Corrida, and by some, was held to be the superior version. Earlier this year, Artsmagic Ltd. released his Village of Doom under the Eastern Cult Cinema brand. In his Japanese Cinema Encyclopaedia...The Sex Films, Thomas Weisser described him as being possibly the most important director to emerge from the roman-porno era.

We asked this genial sexagenarian a number of leading questions, without being too sure how he'd respond. What we were trying to assess was how he felt about having spent most of his career in the pinku club, and whether there was any sense of wasted talent, or regrets at not having been part of the mainstream. Not a bit of it. His pride in his achievements, and his deeply competitive nature, shone through, as well as his artistry. He'd entered the world of film from having studied poetry at university, and having come to the conclusion that great poems consist of the ability to evoke a vast gallery of images, he decided to work in the industry whose main task is the creation of images. His apprenticeship involved being assistant director on Kurosawa's Yojimbo, no less.

Tanaka emerged as a highly intelligent and articulate man, and what he had to say off the cuff was as interesting and salient as anything we'd ever come across with regard to this still controversial cinematic tributary. This is a more or less verbatim extract from one of his responses during our meeting.

"Most of the romanporno I made is about love and death, seen through the filter of sex. I observed love from many different directions: from above, from below, sometimes from far away and sometimes I just gazed at it. Angel Guts shows love from a distance at first, and then gradually, little by little, gets closer and closer. We are allowed to look at the corse of human beings with disguising anything, and to express ourselves very honestly. That's why working on roman-porno is such a satisfying experience."

Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 1:32 pm
by DylanDog
Image Entertainment actually released "A Woman Called Sada Abe" here in the States, as well. Still, that's just two out of however many Nikkatsu films there are.

Even harder to get than the films themselves, are the posters for the movies. I searched Yahoo!Japan auctions for about two years and never saw even a single one. I eventually lost the link for the search and gave up.