Title – Violence Voyager/ Baiorensu boijâ (2018)
Director – Ujicha (The Burning Buddha Man)
Cast – (Voices of) Saki Fujita, Derek Petropolis, Tomorô Taguchi, Aoi Yûki
Plot – Two school friends discover a mysterious theme park in the secluded mountains of the Japanese countryside but what at first appears to be an innocent setting turns out to be anything but.
“This is the land of dreams and ideals”
Review by Eddie on 07/10/2019
Make no mistake about it, if Violence Voyager wasn’t an animated outing, this disturbing, captivating and wild ride into the deranged would’ve been the type of film that may never have even seen the light of day, too much for audiences to bare, audiences who would’ve been unable to digest its eccentricities, ultra-violence and crazed plotline.
Born out of the mind of Japanese filmmaker Ujicha, Voyager utilises the painstakingly long to do “gekimation” animation process of creating hand-painted cardboard cut-outs no bigger than playing cards and using them against painted backdrops with real life effects thrown in, it’s an odd, beautiful and creative way to tell a story, that is unlike anything you’ve seen before and likely to see in the future.
For all the creative magic on show here in Voyager, it would’ve been for naught had Ujicha failed to deliver on the storytelling front but thankfully Voyager’s unpredictable and eventful plotline will keep those that fall under the films spell hooked from start to finish.
To be clear, Voyager is not for everyone, it’s probably not even for 99 out of 100 of people but for those that are willingly to be participants in this journey to an amusement park that you won’t want to be lining up to visit, Voyager will be an absolute delirious delight.
Born from Japanese creatives of old that includes robotic infused sci-fi and Kaiju themed monsters, Voyager is a body horror that feels like something David Cronenberg may conjure up in his most depraved of nightmares, as Japan based American boy Bobby and his one and only friend Akkun spend one of the final days of Summer exploring their local mountainside where they stumble upon the mysterious Violence Voyager amusement park.
To say much more about what transpires within Ujicha’s tale would be a disservice to the films oddball happenings and unnerving moments but suffice to say viewers that are offended easily or those that find blood thirsty horror too much to bare (even in cardboard cut-out form) should stay well away from Voyager as there’s unlikely to be anything here that would make them think that this outing is anything more than a sensationalist event, with goals to shock and offend in equal measure.
Search deeper in the film however and accept it for the unbridled ride that it is and Voyager is one of the most unique, energetic and artistic creations to reach feature form in some time and establishes Ujicha as a unique filmmaking voice, happy to explore the human condition just as equally as he is comfortable brutally murdering adolescents.
Final Say –
Hard to describe in words, Violence Voyager is best seen to be believed and while not for mass public consumption, Ujicha’s vibrantly creative trip to the extremes is a gloriously off-kilter ride that is destined for cult-film status.
4 water pistols out of 5
Violence Voyager will release onto digital streaming platforms Oct. 21 (Amazon, DirecTV, FlixFling, Vimeo on Demand, Vudu, FANDANGO and AT&T)