Junk Head

International Premiere
  • Japan
  • 2017
  • 114 mins
  • Without dialogue
  • English (subtitles)
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It has been centuries since human beings abandoned mortality and natural reproduction. Centuries since they delegated danger and drudgery to clones, only to see their subjugated creations revolt and exile themselves in the vast subterranean underworld. Now the humans up above have begun to explore this lost world, embarking on exploratory missions as fraught and uncertain as any in the history of the species. The creatures which were once docile fabricated servants have become a vast array of absurd and terrifying monstrosities. But humans too have changed, altered almost unrecognizably – and the changes haven’t come to a halt yet…

A painter, sculptor, doll-obsessed model-maker, and interior designer, Japan’s Takahide Hori, president and director of the studio Yamiken, is also a rising talent in the field of stop-motion animation. JUNK HEAD, screening for the first time outside Japan at Fantasia this summer, confirms Hori’s lurid imagination and maniacal dedication to detail in the execution of his craft. The sci-fi cyber-horror concoction JUNK HEAD first saw light as a short film, released in 2013 and snatching up prizes at the Yubari and Clermont-Ferrand festivals. Hori took the hint and settled into expanding his ideas into a full feature film, a biomechanical nightmare tempered with unexpected twists and deft wit – imagine FRAGGLE ROCK through the eyes of H.R. Giger and Hieronymus Bosch. Fantasia takes great pride in discovering unique, independent filmmakers and revealing them to the world, and for the festival’s Axis section, Hori’s JUNK HEAD is this year’s unheralded delight.

- Rupert Bottenberg

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