Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Short Film: Bloody Date (Japan, circa 2007)

The clay animation — or, "claymation" — gore shorts of Takena Nagao have been making the rounds on the Internet for awhile now, gaining increasing popularity and attention due to blurbs from Boing Boing and other hip (and unhip) websites and blogs across the globe. Chainsaw Maid is the one that seems to be the most popular, but it is only one of a whole series of intensely violent claymation shorts that utilize every aspect of the genre visual vocabulary of horror, gore and exploitation film. The short featured here is Bloody Date, one of his more consistently bleak films.
Were many of these films live action, they would be repulsive in their nihilism, misogyny and visual overload. But executed in the cute technique of claymation, the excesses of Nagao’s film often become as comic and laughable as they are violent. Imagine, if you can, that someone like Ed Gein or Richard Speck had created Gumby instead of Art Clokey; these might have been the type of films they would have made.
According to the info on his myspace page, Takena is a Japanese college science student in his early twenties living in the city of Uji who likes watching movies, listening to music, reading and making clay animation films. His star sign is Cancer, he’s slim and 169 cm tall (that’s a little less than 5½ foot [!]), and smokes but does not drink. He also claims to be single, which explains why he has the time on his hands to continually produce such cute and entertaining monstrosities!
At the moment, Takena Nagao is still very much an Internet sensation. He has downloaded a variety of his films on youtube, and they can also be viewed on his website

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