ATTACK ON TITAN: END OF THE WORLD
2015, FUNimation Entertainment, 100 min, Japan, Dir: Shinji Higuchi

The apocalyptic horror-fantasy reaches its thrilling conclusion a few years after the Titans first breached the outer defensive wall; the creatures’ ferocious attacks have steeled the resolve of Eren, Mikasa and Armin to defeat them, and though the odds are against mankind, the Titans have a weak spot. Like the first installment of ATTACK ON TITAN, this fast-moving film is darker (and gorier) than its source material, and visually impressive despite a budget far below that of Hollywood blockbusters.


ATTACK ON TITAN
2015, FUNimation Entertainment, 90 min, Japan, Dir: Shinji Higuchi

Inspired by Hajime Isayama’s popular manga series, the first of this two-part live-action horror-fantasy finds teen friends Eren (Haruma Miura), Armin (Kanata Hongo) and Mikasa (Kiko Mizuhara) wondering about the world beyond a protective wall, built after a devastating attack a century earlier. Their sense of security is shattered when huge, man-eating Titans break through the defensive structure, once again threatening humanity with extinction. “Outstanding and immersive aesthetic unlike any other horror movie, swiftly paced and gripping start to finish.” - Hope Chapman, Anime News Network. In Japanese with English subtitles.


HELTER SKELTER
HERUTA SUKERUTA
2012, Asmik Ace, 127 min, Japan, Dir: Mika Ninagawa

Lilico (Erika Sawajiri) is Japan’s top model and the envy of every high school girl across the country. She is also, with the exception of her fingernails and a couple other parts, entirely fake. Created with the most advanced plastic surgery methods organized by her savvy and manipulating manager (Kaori Momoi), Lilico is a star on the verge of elite status. But as her own manufactured body deteriorates, she lashes out at and torments her social circle, particularly her infatuated assistant (Shinobu Terajima). When a philosophical prosecutor (Nao Omori) begins to collect evidence of medical malpractice stemming from the grisly suicides of models whose bodies have been destroyed by similar surgeries, Lilico’s life starts to unravel in spectacular fashion. Based on Kyoko Okazaki’s eponymous award-winning manga (2004 Grand Winner of the Tezuka Osama Cultural Prize), HELTER SKELTER has the bright sets and colorful palette of Ninagawa’s SAKURAN, with some kinky sex and macabre violence thrown in for good measure. As a kinetic look at celebrity culture and the fashion industry, the mix of black humor and gaudy melodrama makes for a satire that is appropriately in-your-face. In Japanese with English subtitles.


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