Unique Japanese Alternative brand DEVIL666ISH

If you’re constantly keeping up with modern Japanese fashion, then you know there’s always weird brands or styles that constantly come in and out quicker than ever. I’m always on the look out for brands that stick out to me and know how to draw attention in the right ways. A few months ago, through Tokyo-Fashion, I discovered an eye stopping brand called Devil666ish. Already sounds awesome, yeah? Their creepy, cute, and unique designs have been huge in Tokyo recently. Their works have even crossed into America.
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Cindy and Frank (both pictured above) are the founders of Devil666ish.  They’re wearing their own designs. They like to let their art and designs speak for them. A lot of their products are focused on eyes, such as the first two products.
1004_400wAlien I-phone Case

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 Demonic Shirt

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Or if you’re more into the cuteness direction, there’s the Magical Girl skirt with pentagrams.

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Their items are also very inspired by the occult, which I really like.

Witch choker

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            If you’re interested in bizarre, cyber, club kid, gothic, or just general cute fashion, Devil666ish is definitely worth checking out. I haven’t been able to purchase anything myself since they are incredibly expensive, but from what I’ve heard from friends and other sources, the quality seems to be great and I’ve heard nice reviews. I’m looking forward to seeing what they will come up with next.

Where you can find Devil666ish: Tumblr
Instagram
Storenvy, Big Cartel

What brands should I review next I wonder…

Interview with Tokyo model MORINO RINGO

             Tokyo Fashion is a website I check daily for a bunch of reasons, I love finding out about new models and fashion trends from Japan. Recently, they’ve been posting a lot about a certain young woman that goes by the name Morino Ringo (Ringo for short).
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Lately, she’s been in some of Tokyo’s biggest fashion magazines, like KERA and Fruits. Her style is best described as Gothic Lolita with a dash of cuteness. Visual Kei is one of her inspirations and she loves grotesque fashion (like me).
tumblr_ndhjsjoOMt1so4qzso1_1280I was able to interview her yesterday via twitter. It was short, but great! Ringo is sweet and a pleasure to talk to.

Hyde: I adore your outfits. I see it combines the gothic Lolita style with cuteness. What inspires your style?
Ringo: “I’ve always loved the Harajuku fashions and Visual Kei.”

Hyde: Why did you start modeling?
Ringo: “I really wanted to help lead my style.”

Hyde: What’re your favorite brands in Tokyo?
Ringo: “hNAOTO, PUTUMAYO, peacenow, SEX POT revenge, algonquins, & vivienne Westwood have always been some of my favorites!”

Hyde: What fashion trend would you like to see make a comeback?
Ringo: “I want to bring back the Gothic Lolita fashion that was popular several years ago!”

Hyde: What’s the strangest piece of clothing/accessory you own?
Ringo: “My pierced earrings!.” (She has plenty of them)
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Hyde: What’s your advice for people that want to be models like you?
Ringo:
“I want to say if it’s good then by all means continue by dressing in your favorite fashion. ☆彡”

Here’s where you can find her:
Tumblr
Twitter
Ameblo (All Japanese)

(all photos are from her blogs)

tumblr_ndhaatTd2X1so4qzso1_400                Hopefully we’ll talk again in the future. I should start thinking about Halloween posts…but I’m not sure what to do yet.

NEW Indie gay comedy “THE GAYS” review with NYC film maker T.S. SLAUGHTER interview

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Producer Paul Serrano recently brought this movie to my attention, a quirky comedy about gay parents and their adventures with bringing up their two sons. It’s the second film by writer/director T.S. Slaughter.

ts-slaughter   (On the left, T.S. Slaughter)

Boy, this film was wild from start to finish. The film tells its story through flash backs, with one of the sons telling his story in a bar to a random stranger in the nineties. It’s Slaughter’s satirical take on television sitcoms from past decades. Rod Gay (Frank Holliday) and Bob Gay-Paris (Chris Tanner)  are like the “gay mentors you never had.” They raise their two children, Tommy (Flip Jorgensen) and Alex (Mike Russnak), to be the best homosexuals by giving them…intriguing lessons and advice to “empower the boys to bend the world over, lube it up, and snap one off!” Yes, you’ve heard correctly. What I enjoyed about the film was the John Waters feel it has. It’s campy, has memorable but crazy characters, and very raunchy humor. It’s really in your face.
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I can see it becoming a cult classic in twenty years. Now, there are some over the top gross scenes (like the birthing part, oh god). The film does get pornographic at a few parts, but if you like hot naked men (like I do) then you really won’t mind it. The words, “tranny” and “fag” are mentioned a couple times. It all depends on how you view those kinds of things. Other than that, it was a fun watch. I’m looking forward to Slaughter’s and the actors’ future projects.

What do you guys think?

I was lucky enough to interview T.S. Slaughter and ask him what the hell was going through his mind when he made this. What could have inspired him? How’d he select the right people for these parts?

Hyde: Something about the film seemed very John Waters-esque, which I liked. Is he an inspiration to you?

Slaughter: “Very much so. Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, and Desperate Living are among my favorite films of all time. He is the original gay badass of underground film. I especially admire his talent for coming up with memorable, quotable lines and really offbeat characters.”

Hyde: What kinds of things inspire you to make films about LGTBQ culture?

Slaughter: “I really object to the mainstreaming of LGBTQ people that is taking place in the US and Canada in recent years. We are not all warm and cuddly like you see in the media. Many LGBTQ people fought hard for the right to have anonymous sex in bathhouses and tea rooms, to be open about who they are and not ashamed of it, etc. In short: to be accepted as different from average str8s. Many LGBTQ folks feel that sleazy, “irresponsible” (from a middle-class str8 perspective) behavior should be celebrated, not sanitized out of us. That’s why you see such outrageous sights at gay pride parades everywhere: because LGBTQ folks really are different, and they want to celebrate that difference, warts and all.

Gay filmmaking, even indie filmmaking, has come under the same pressures as the rest of LGBTQ culture to be respectable. Well I’m not having it: No sappy coming out stories for me. No sentimental tales of love and tragic loss. I like to push buttons to remind viewers of all stripes that some of us still have an edge.”

Hyde: This movie is really outrageous. How did you come up with the concept for “The Gays,” after your 2007 horror comedy film “Skull & Bones”?

Slaughter: “Indie film-even LGBTQ indie film–has to be outrageous to get noticed, especially if you don’t have the connections to get into mainstream film festivals and a distribution deal with, say, TLA, Strand, or Wolfe. “Skull & Bones” relied on the horror genre (and a trailer that went viral) to get picked up by a Hollywood distributor. The added twists of the killers being gay, sexually predatory, and floridly anti-social sealed the deal!

“The Gays” started with my thinking about how different LGBTQ parents–good and bad parents, because both kinds are surely out there–could potentially be from str8 parents when raising children, now that the notion of gay marriage has become so commonplace. Would they promote the often questionable behavior some LGBTQ folks engage in to their children? Should they? How do you balance street smarts and cynicism with moral and ethical considerations when giving advice to kids? The film idea blossomed from these thoughts and questions.

I am also a huge fan of Bea Arthur, especially how she played Maude in the 70s TV show of that name, so I modeled the mom in “The Gays” on her and added a gender-bending twist. I modeled the dad on my own stern, cynical father.”

Hyde: I heard that the lead actors, Chris Tanner and Frank Holliday, have been well known artists in NYC for years. How did you get them to be in the film and why? 

Slaughter: “I put out a casting call in NYC and Frank answered it. He read for the father and I thought he would be great in the role. But I was having trouble getting anyone to play the mother. I had written the part with the gender-bending actor Alan Rowe Kelly in mind, but Alan wasn’t interested in being in the film. It was Frank who suggested I contact Chris Tanner because he thought Chris could play the mother. Chris came for an audition and I was simply amazed at his talent. Chris, in turn, suggested Mike Russnak as someone who might make a good older son, Alex. He was right! I am so thankful to everyone in the cast and crew for all their hard work, senses of humor, and most of all patience.”

Hyde: What kind of people do you look for to be a part of your movies? How does the process go?

Slaughter: “I seek actors who have few inhibitions: people who can laugh at themselves, at the absurdity of human existence, and especially at the absurdity and banality of middle-class values. Sasha Baron Cohen has been a huge inspiration to me because that is exactly the sort of person he is when he acts, most especially in the hilarious role he created for his comedy “Bruno.”

The process is straightforward: I put out a casting call on various actors’ websites describing the film and the roles needed to be filled. When people respond I send them sides (i.e., the lines they will be speaking and the stage directions) to prepare. Then I hold auditions by having actors read their parts opposite me. I also have the auditions filmed to see how the actors look on camera. That’s important because many who audition have only done theater–not film–before, and film is a really different medium with different requirements from actors.”

Hyde: Can you give us a hint about what your next project might be about?

Slaughter: “I don’t want to say too much, but the most promising current ideas concern (1) a sadistic, closeted drill sergeant or (2) a bullied gay teen who exacts revenge on his tormentors.”

–T.S. Slaughter

I enjoyed interviewing him and it was great to know we shared similar views on things such as how LGTBQ people are portrayed in the mainstream media. If you are curious and want to buy or rent “The Gays,” here is where you can get it. (all photos are from the official site)

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   Support independent film makers!!!!!

Futuristic/Cyberpunk/Dystopian films for Kirameki magazine

What is Cyberpunk? The concept can be traced back to 1927’s Metropolis, and even further than that. It is usually associated with high technology and low lives with advanced science themes. It deals with the corruption of artificial intelligence and how loners handle their dystopic settings. Cyberpunk asks the question, what would happen if man’s creations became too much and rebelled? What if beings from other planets were more powerful and capable than us?

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(Warner Bros, 1982, all rights reserved.)

Blade Runner (1982)
★★★★★ out of five

A precursor and one of the main pioneers to the cyberpunk genre. Based on the 1968 novel, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, it’s set the far distant future of 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Genetically engineered replicates, that can’t be distinguished from regular humans, are created to do dangerous/illegal work around the city. Blade runners are set out in order to destroy the androids since they bring nothing but trouble. Its dark, shadowy, and hazy cinematography emits a nice ominous balance for the dystopian setting. The eerie soundtrack by Vangelis uses plenty of synthesizers to add on the retro-futuristic vibes. A must see for those curious about/or a fan of the cyberpunk genre.

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(Sony Pictures, 2008, all rights reserved)

Tokyo Gore Police (2008)
★★★ out of five

Set in futuristic Tokyo, a scientist has found a way to create a virus that turns people into monstrous creatures that can grow machinery when they lose a limb. An outcast by the name of Ruka, who knows how to dispatch these creatures, agrees to help the police while also trying to figure out who assassinated her father years ago. It’s downright gross and absurd, and while you’re watching it you’ll be confused, but when it’s over you’ll have a feeling of “oh my God, I should watch that again.” It’s one of those films that it’s so bad, it’s an adventure. It’s directed by worldly renown special effects artist Yoshihiro Nishimura, who worked on the Japanese thrillers Suicide Club and Sion Sono. Warning: graphic self harm scenes

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(Triangle Staff, 1998, all rights reserved.)

Serial Experiments Lain (1998)
★★★1/2 out of five

Not a movie, but still an interesting show if you love your mind being screwed. Lain is a young girl and an outcast to her family and peers. When a classmate of hers commits suicide, their spirit comes to her through her computer, telling her that they haven’t really died, but instead have “abandoned their flesh.” This person tries to contact Lain to obsessive amounts and begs her to join them in the internet world. The entire series is Lain slowly going psychotic and “being erased” from existence. The only downside to this series is that there’s just one season.

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(British Lion Films, 1976, all rights reserved.)

The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)
★★★★ out of five

Thomas Newton (David Bowie) is a humanoid alien that visits Earth to obtain water to bring home to his dying planet. He gets distracted and meets a reserved girl named Mary-Lou who introduces him to alcohol, sex, and many other Earth customs. He develops addictions and his relationship with Mary is strained. His identity is put on the line when someone figures out what he is and struggles to come clean to Mary-Lou. It’s based on the 1963 novel of the same name. While it didn’t do particularly well on its initial release, it has gained a huge cult status over the years, due to its visually striking imagery and of course the beautiful David Bowie.

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(Toho, 1988, all rights reserved.)

Akira (1988)
★★★★1/2 out of five

Tetsuo Shima is a psychic teenage biker in Tokyo 2019. Akira is an imprisoned boy that developed God-like abilities when the government did awful experiments on him. Tetsuo wants to free Akira but the leader of his biker gang will do anything to prevent it. Thirty-one years earlier, the city is destroyed when World War III begins. When it is rebuilt, it is called Neo-Tokyo and now is an overpopulated industrial city. Akira is considered a huge landmark in Japanese anime and helped increased the popularity of it in America and the cyberpunk culture.

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Be sure to grab the futuristic October issue of Kirameki, which I will be in giving more movie reviews of my top three Cyberpunk films from this list. It comes out October 15th! It’s always fun working with them.

P.S. I have been asked to be involved in a new little project that I will be participating in soon. More details next week!