Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"HOUSE" FINALLY COMING OUT ON DVD

Exciting news for fans of psychedelic horror, one of my alltime favorite Japanese films is finally getting a proper DVD release (with English subtitles). Eureka Video is planning a 2010 release of cult masterpiece, HOUSE (aka HAUSU), directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi (director of the insane film adaptation of Umezu's Drifting Classroom).



It's been a bit of a challenge to track down, but lots of folks including me know this film from torrents that have made the rounds online. More recently, it was shown at a number of film festivals in the Fall of 2009. HOUSE is an insane and retarded piece of perfection- a visual distillation of most everything we at Same Hat hold dear aesthetically. Flying heads a la Bali Mystics? CHECK. Hand-drawn trippy backdrops and bursts of anachronystic, analog color sfx? CHECK. Singing babes and blood-spewing cats? CHECK. Carnivorous piano and Amityville horror? CHECK.



With help from Evan and Ryan G., we actually projected HOUSE on the wall of my apartment at my last birthday party. This article from the Village Voice helps give some context on this 1977 triumph (is that the right word here?). They say:
An uncanny prophecy of Sam Raimi's Evil Dead 2 a decade later, this exhumed freaker conjoins New Agey schoolgirl farce and the cheesiest then-there-were-none haunted-house dynamic imaginable, while the painted backdrop skies suggest Teletubbies and the special effects run from solarized-video-absurd to cardboard-hilarious. The rum-stumble cast and crew obey no rules—the movie often seems to have two or three conflicting scores running simultaneously, and inappropriate freeze frames and pointless fades to black are the norm. The story isn't a story at all: A gaggle of sailor-uniformed schoolgirls (with names like Gorgeous, Prof, and Fantasy) head to a weird aunt's cheap-set house for spring break, and start getting minced up, one by one, into crude superimpositions, perambulating body parts, and rivers of blood that look like cherry Hi-C.

It's a real treat to finally get a proper DVD release of HOUSE, and it's my most-wanted film release of 2010. The Eureka Video catalogue doesn't give a specific release date, but I'll be keeping my eyes peeled:


If you're already into HOUSE and can't get enough, I'd like to also mention that Same Hat friend and artist Brendan Ninness created a HOUSE-inspired piece for Electric Ant #2's illustration feature, THESE BLOODY MOMENTS. Here is a smaller version of that piece:

[As always, if you haven't yet you can still purchase a copy of the zine.]

Here's the Japanese trailer for HOUSE, followed by some stills. Enjoy!








UPDATE: As commenter Stephen mentioned, there are rumors that Janus/Criterion are going to be releasing HOUSE in the US as a Criterion DVD/Blu-Ray, as Janus was responsible for organizing the showings of the film at festivals last fall. The just posted this Q&A article on their blog too. That said, it's still sorta unofficial 'til they confirm or put it on their release schedule. Has anyone heard more specifics? (thanks, Stephen!) In the meantime, as Matt points out, Janus is taking HOUSE to independent movie theaters around the US in the Spring and Summer. Full schedule is online here. I'll be at the April 17 show in San Francisco!

21 comments:

Stephen said...

Though it hasn't been officially scheduled yet, Criterion is also putting out dvd and blu-ray editions of HOUSE at some point in the coming months.

(HOUSE posters and t-shirts have been available from them since September and this link was just posted on their home page today: http://www.criterion.com/current/posts/1348)

Matt said...

also of note: HOUSE theatrical tour, starts this weekend :

http://www.janusfilms.com/house/dates.html

i can only imagine how much fun it would be to watch this with a crowd.

icursetheday said...

wow this movie looks amazing, will definitely check it out!

tree said...

oh, so many dvd-releases of promising japanese movies scheduled this year! robogeisha! love exposure! and now this!

voidmare said...

Welcome back!

I am really curious to see how our fansubs compare with the official translation. I already see they did they names differently.

Watching this with a crowd sounds awesome! I am seriously considering renting out a bar in Tokyo for a viewing party now.

odber said...

"The Eureka Video catalogue doesn't give a specific release date"

On play.com and on amazon.co.uk it's listed as 25.1.2010. It's said to also include a booklet with the dvd. My guess is that we are getting the same kind of release as we did with the 20th Century Boys dvd http://tinyurl.com/20thcntry

sands said...

@Matt: Thanks! I'm going to see it April 17 at the Castro Theatre in SF if anyone wants to come along :)

@icursetheday: Definitely do, you will thank youself!

@tree: It's shaping up to be a rad year

@voidmare: Thanks! Happy to be back :) I'm curious about that too-- I actually know a friend-of-a-friend who is getting a PhD at Columbia in J-Lit who did subtitles for a bunch of Criterion subtitles. They take that stuff super seriously.

@odber: Thanks for those details! That is sooner than I expected :) I searched Amazon.com for Janus/Criterion news but nothing yet. Sounds like it wouldn't be til late Spring/early Summer at soonest for that release (if it happens)

Karamashi said...

I adore House and have shown it to all the cinephiles I know, and the every verdict from each of them was overwhelming praised for the wicked little film. I've always wanted to buy the soundtrack or even a poster. I know that Janus and Criterion have been sitting on the film and I'm extremely excited for its release on Blu Ray. Thanks for the heads up! I'm going to try and catch it in a theater.

Karel VeselĂ˝ said...

Awesome film, will be great to see it at some good quality. The director is the same guy, who made Umezzu's Drifting Classroom into a musical about love (at least judged by YouTube 10minute version).

ryan said...

@Karamashi: Good luck, hope you catch it!

@Karel: ohhhh, I totally forgot to mention he did the Drifting Classroom adaptation :) Just updated the post with links to older same hat posts (and video clips!)

thanks dude :)

said...

want to see *_*

Anja Flower said...

Oh my fuck, this shit is genius. I want a blood-spewing cat in MY house, damn it all! Carnivorous piano wouldn't be bad, either.

kouros said...

I love this movie SO MUCH. I saw it for the first time a couple weeks ago. And I need that t-shirt.

Also, I'll definitely be seeing it at the Castro. See you there, hopefully.

ryan said...

@Anja: Living inside the "House" would be pretty sweet (except for all the death)

@kouros: dude, Totally! I decided this week to have a "HAUSE" PARTY that day, go to the movie in a big group, and then drink, eat, and watch Happiness of the Katakuris at my place (walking distance from Castro!) afterward. I'll send you an email!

kouros said...

I'm kind of sad that I wasn't the first to think up that pun, but that sounds awesome.

Yukiko Forever! said...

thanks for the heads up Ryan, me and some friends are going to see it in Nashville this weekend . . . gonna make my dad take us to save on gas XD . . . heh heh heh

Yukiko Forever! said...

saw it tonight was well worth all the hype around . . . I think it is my favorite movie now . . . everything was just too perfect as you stated . . . from beginning to end I was entertained . . . they really took to the old banner of anything worth doing is worth overdoing . . . this movie was well worth the 2 hour drive and 2 hour wait

ryan said...

@Yukiko Forever! so glad you enjoyed it!!! I am beyond stoked to see it on the big screen :)

That Girl said...

I got to go see it at the IFC film center... SO WORTH IT! :D
It was awesome on the big screen <3

ryan said...

@That Girl: That's awesome! I'm getting really, really excited to see it at San Francisco's Castro Theatre next month :)

Stephen said...

Criterion's official release info for HOUSE: http://www.criterion.com/films/27523-house