by Chris MaGee
Japan seems to specialize in a very specific brand of horror... and I'm not talking about J-Horror. I'm talking about the horror comedy. From Yudai Yamaguchi's "Battlefield Baseball" to Naoto Takenaka's "Yamagata Scream" the Japanese aren't afraid to mix up their scares with laughs, something that I can only recall from a handful of films here in North America where we usually like our horror bloody and grim.
The latest film to join this horror comedy genre will be Shota Sasaki's "Kamisama Help!" The film stars 25-year-old actor Kazuki Kato as a teacher at a high school with a very dark past. 25-years ago it was the site of a mass murder and now, a quarter of a century later, Kato's character moonlights as a "horror planner". Are we talking about a copycat killer recreating the grisly mass murders... or a really bad party planner. Yes, the plot sounds grim, but "Kamisama Help!" is being pitched as a horror comedy with Kato singing the film's theme song, a cover of 80s pop band The Checkers' #1 single of the same title. Check it out below and you'll soon see (or hear) that there's no way this could be a straight horror film.
"Kamisama Help!" is due out in Japanese theatres on August 7th. Thanks to Tokyograph for the details on this story, and to Sankei Sports for the above promo still.