About a year ago we brought you news that Takashi Miike, the Japanese director who never sleeps, was working on a new adaptation of the classic Japanese ghost story, Yotsuya Kaidan. Now titled Over Your Dead Body, the film is finished and ready to be released in Japanese cinemas in August, and the rest of the world will follow.
The first full length trailer has now been released, and while there are no subtitles, you can immerse yourself in the freaky and utterly creepy visuals and set designs, and enjoy what appears to be one wild horror film. It is good to see Miike back to the genre.
Yotsuya Kaidan, the story of Oiwa and Tamiya Iemon, is a tale of betrayal, murder and ghostly revenge. Arguably the most famous Japanese ghost story of all time, it has been adapted for film over 30 times, and continues to be an influence on Japanese horror today.
Recognised in many contemporary representations including The Ring franchise, Oiwa appears in her white burial gown, straggled hair and drooping eye from where she was maimed by poison. Originally presented on stage in the early 1800s, “Yotsuya Kaiden” has been remade and reconfigured many times but the origins remain the most powerful and terrifying image to audiences, that of a chilling ghost able to span hell and earth to exact revenge on her murderers.
Miike directs from a screenplay by Kikumi Yamagishi (Hara-kiri: Death of a Samurai, The Happiness of the Katakuris). Nobuyasu Kita (13 Assassins, Hara-kiri) rejoins Miike behind the camera as Cinematographer with Toshiaki Nakazawa (13 Assassins, Departure) producing. Production designer Yuji Hayashida and composer Koji Endo are also rejoin the crew.
Over Your Dead Body blurs the line between reality and nightmare when an actor named Kosuke plays the lead role of “Iemon” (Ebizo Ichikawa; Hara-kiri: Death of a Samurai) in a staged play of Yotsuya Kaiden. His lover Miyuki joins him on stage to play “Oiwa” (Hideaki Ito; Sukiyaki Western Django, Lesson of the Evil), but as they become engrossed in the performances, their personal life begins to disintegrate and their love, hate, and grudge for each other takes over. As the two worlds begin to meld, they are thrown into their own hell with the play beginning to horrifyingly unfold in real life.
An actor named Kosuke plays the role of Iemon in a stage version of Yotsuya Kaiden and his new lover Miyuki plays Oiwa. However, as they delve deeper into their respective performances, the line between fantasy and reality becomes obscured until the murderous, vengeful themes of the play bleed into their own relationship.