Directed by Anne Ferroro, toco toco is a short documentary series showcasing Japanese artists and creators. The latest episodes however may be of particular interest to readers who are fans of horror and splatter movies, as they feature film makers Noboru Iguchi (The Machine Girl, Dead Sushi) and Yoshihiro Nishimura (Tokyo Gore Police). They talk about their careers, their inspirations and their perspectives on Japan’s film industry today.
This series of short documentary episodes is currently available online on the toco toco YouTube channel where they have some pretty interesting guests. The list includes names such as film composter Kenji Kawai (Ghost in the Shell) and game designer Goichi Suda, aka Suda51 (Killer7) as well as many other you may want to check out. However there are two recent additions that will be of interest to anyone who’s a fan of violent foreign cinema and practical effects in indie film making.
Noboru Iguchi – self described horror action splatter director – takes us to a theme park near his home town where he enjoyed the hand made scares of a haunted house as a child. It was the start of the interest in horror for him, as well something he likes to keep in touch with in his films. Movies both amazed and terrified him at an early age, and his story takes us from the 8mm projects of his school days to a cinema that he visited years ago and now shows his own productions. He isn’t shy about discussion his past filming adult entertainment, a practical choice which led to him being able to fund his own ideas.
Yoshihiro Nishimura was inspired by an eclectic mix of both family friendly films like Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, as well as far more adult themed fare such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. He also made 8mm features in school, and became interested in the imagery of Salvadore Dali and H.R. Giger. As well as being a fan of the shock value of horror stories, he also spends time teaching a new generation of artists, some who are spending their savings on productions or using phones to film them.
Both directors share a similar disdain for the current state of the national film industry which, just like Hollywood in the West, is obsessed with sequels and adapting existing franchises from books and comics to maintain box office numbers. The lack of budgets available for indie film makers in the niche genres makes it difficult for them to realise their own original ideas, which of course is recurring problem. But that’s enough from me, you can check out the episodes below. They’re all a similar short length so you’ve got no excuse. The clips of their films make be extreme, or bizarre but it may also make you want to go and see them.