So I have been asked by Dark Coast Pictures to review a movie called Violence Voyager in preparation for its upcoming release onto digital platforms, Amazon, DirecTV, FlixFling, Vimeo on Demand, Vudu, FANDANGO and AT&T on October 21st, 2019. It’s a Japanese horror film about two boys named Bobby and Akkun who want to visit their friend who lives in the next village over before their summer vacation is over. To do this, they take a shortcut through the mountains, where they come across a theme park called Violence Voyager. Upon being offered free admission, they should have said, “no,” but of course they say, “yes,” and things slowly go to shit for them.
Violence Voyager is directed by a man simply known as Ujicha. This is his sophomore film (His first movie is apparently called “The Burning Buddha Man”). This film employs a technique that Ujicha refers to as “Gekimation” and I’ve never seen anything quite like it. It uses very well-drawn paper puppetry over a still background and, honestly, no explanation I give can get the idea across as well as watching it so I’ll post the trailer below this paragraph. The art style reminds me of a spooky, Japanese Norman Rockwell. If my description sounds odd, it’s because the overall aesthetic is very odd but I think the art style fits the movie perfectly.
There are a lot of weird things in this movie, from the B-movie horror/sci-fi plot, to the corny (yet, somehow, perfect) voice acting, to the fact that there is an American protagonist in a Japanese movie. For those of you who don’t know, Americans are typically depicted in a less than favorable manner in Japanese media. The music is simple and doesn’t do more than set the mood but it’s perfect for this film. I’d argue that the sound design was executed very well because they went with a minimalist philosophy.
So do I think you should see Violence Voyager? That ultimately depends on what kind of person you are. Violence Voyager is both Japanese and animated which technically makes it an anime but I’d argue it has a lot more in common with Salad Fingers than it does with Sailor Moon, Spirited Away, or Naruto. I think the people who will enjoy Violence Voyager the most are people who enjoy, b-movies, sci-fi, horror, and weird shit in general. I should also probably warn you that if can’t bear to see body horror, violence against children, or violence against animals, you might want to sit this one out.
As for me, I loved it. This is my first real film review so I don’t really have much of a metric for rating films yet but I do think Violence Voyager is a near perfect version of what it’s trying to be so I’ll give it 9 animal friends out of 10. Just a reminder that if this sounds up your alley, you’ll be able to watch it October 21st (this coming Monday) on Amazon, DirecTV, FlixFling, Vimeo on Demand, Vudu, FANDANGO and AT&T. I also wanted to give Dark Coast Pictures a special thanks for affording me this opportunity. Y’all have an awesome movie and I’m glad I got to review it.