Suffice it to say, I’m not a fanboy of any company or entity, but if I had to be one, I’d reserve my “OMFG”s for Third Window Pictures as it seems like they’re on a constant roll, putting out some of the better films out of Asia. Dip into their catalog for the short few years they’ve been around and you have some of the most talked about films from the region: Confessions, Oasis, Confessions of a Dog, Love Exposure, Villain, the list goes on.
Next up for Third Window is the UK R2 DVD and Blu-Ray releases of the serial killer film, Cold Fish (2010). Directed by provocateur Sion Sono (Love Exposure), the film’s synopsis is as follows:
Inspired by and loosely based on the real-life exploits of serial killer couple Gen Sekine and his ex-wife Hiroko Kazama (the perpetrators of Tokyo’s notorious 1993 “Saitama serial murders of dog lovers” killings), Cold Fish is a psychotic cavalcade of sex, violence and comedy.
Shamoto runs a small tropical fish shop. His second wife, Taeko, does not get along with his daughter, Mitsuko, and this worries him. One day Mitsuko is caught shoplifting at a grocery store. There they meet a friendly man named Murata, who helps to settle things between Mitsuko and the store manager. Since Murata also runs a tropical fish shop, Shamoto establishes a bond with him and they become friends; Mitsuko even begins working for Murata and living at his house. What Shamoto doesn’t know, however, is that Murata hides many dark secrets behind his friendly face. He sells cheap fish to his customers for high prices with his artful lies. If anyone detects his fraud or refuses to go along with his money-making schemes, they’re murdered and their bodies disposed of by Murata and his wife in grisly ways.
Shamoto is suddenly taken in by Murata’s tactics, and by the time he realizes that Murata is insane, and a serial killer who has made over fifty people disappear, he is powerless to do anything about it. But now Mitsuko is a hostage at Murata s home, and Shamoto himself has become the killer’s unwilling accomplice. Cruel murders gradually cripple his mind and finally the ordinary man is being driven to the edge of the abyss.
Both the standard DVD and Blu-Ray releases of Cold Fish will include the film, an interview with scriptwriter Yoshiki Takahashi, and an interview that I helped set up with former Yomiuri Shimbun beat reporter Jake Adelstein. Jake was one of the few assigned to report on the real-life “Saitama serial murders of dog lovers” incident which he also wrote extensively about in his book, Tokyo Vice.
Cold Fish is already available for pre-order on Amazon UK and will be released on June 27, 2011.
Feature article: Label Conscious: Japanese Cinema Through The Third Window
Podcast: Interview with Jake Adelstein
Podcast: Oasis review