Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Karaoke terrors!

In three weeks, Synapse Films will release a pair of fairly recent Japanese films as part of their "Asian Cult Cinema Collection": Tetsuo Shinohara's 2003 black satire Karaoke Terror: The Complete Japanese Showa Songbook (Showa kayo daizenshu), and Katsuhito Ishii's madcap multi-character comedy Party 7, from 2000.

The supplements on these discs were taken from the Japanese releases, so we didn't do much work on them other than to generally oversee their production, but I wanted to point out their forthcoming availability on the blog. Showa Songbook in particular is a terrific film, a pitch-perfect adaptation of a novel by infamous Japanese writer Ryu Murakami, who also penned the original book behind Audition. It's highly recommended to anyone who loves black comedies, as well as karaoke!

And for your viewing pleasure now, here are some treasures from You Tube, video performances of many of the songs that appear in the film, but this time done by their original artists. Crazy stuff here from Planet Japan. Enjoy.

Kiyohiko Ozaki performing "Mata au hi made" ("Until We Meet Again").

Former glam rocker Kenji Sawada performs "Hone made ai shite" ("Love You to the Bone") after some talk show banter.

An obasan duet of "Hoshi no nagare ni" ("Shooting Star, Roaming Star") - you hear this one all the time in instrumental versions in elevators in Japan.

The opening credits from Umetsugu Inoue's 1969 Shochiku film Koi no kisetsu (The Season for Love), featuring the great group Pinky and Killers performing the title song - ever wonder where the costumes used in Karaoke Terror's sequence came from? They even duplicate the dance steps in their re-creation in the film!

Finally, pop idol Yoko Minamino performing the same "Season for Love" song.


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