By MICHAEL GINGOLD
Prolific Japanese artist Yoshiki Takahashi, who scripted Sion Sono’s acclaimed psychothriller COLD FISH, is making his directorial debut on a new shocker now shooting in the Tokyo area. Read on for the scoop and first look at the poster.
Scripted by Takahashi from a story by Yuki Kobayashi, RAGEAHOLIC stars Yohta Kawase (SHIN GODZILLA), model Aya Saiki, Ryuju Kobayashi and Manzô Shinra (ICHI THE KILLER). The synopsis: “RAGEAHOLIC follows Yakuza-busting police officer Fukama [Kawase], who, after allowing his overly violent nature to get the better of him, botches an arrest and leaves several bodies in his wake. Disgraced and sent to America for psychotherapy, he returns to Japan years later to discover that the town he once cleaned up is now so clean that it has literally become sanitized—with death as punishment for those who do not conform. And as he realizes how dangerous this ‘sanitation’ truly is, the rage inside him returns with a bloody vengeance.”
“The idea behind the film came from the increasing exclusionism and thirst for a ‘sanitized society’ in Japan,” Takahashi says. “Being a social outcast in Japan means you’re targeted to be alienated and excluded. The social unrest in my home country is becoming alarmingly high, and citizens are getting more and more protective. The ‘safe society’ they now demand looks, to me, like an Orwellian dystopia, and inspired me to make a caricatured film about it.”
Shooting on RAGEAHOLIC began February 13 in the Tokyo suburbs of Saitama Prefecture, where a hostage-situation sequence was lensed, and the team has since moved to Gunma Prefecture for the remainder of production. Festival and theatrical play is being targeted for later this year.