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Japan, 1994 (MIFF 2001, Electric Angels – The Films of Ishii Sogo)

Director: Ishii Sogo

A trip inside the mind of a serial killer, and the psychic investigator desperate to track him down and halt a murder spree. Angel Dust is a cat-and-mouse thriller that lives up to, and then surpasses, expectations. The American serial killer sub-genre has been run into the ground by shop-worn cliches and ludicrous plot twists but Ishii keeps things moving at a relentless pace, and not just in terms of storyline. His shock-cut editing, surreal cinematography and industrial strength score create an effect as if Dario Argento had been slipped an hallucinogenic mickey and then let loose with a camera in downtown Tokyo.

The film is awash in dazzling primary colours, multi-hued raindrops fall constantly and unknown assailants wilh eerie mechanical killing devices stalk gorgeous women in subways. Setsuko, prone to visions, suspects a former lover, Rei, as the culprit. Rei, an imposing figure working as a cult deprogrammer, is enigmatic, while exuding an air of overbearing menace. The tension between evidence and speculation rises to a crashing finale. "Ishii favors oblique mystery and a sense of mutable reality and makes his audience feel the same dislocation...a sophisticated exercise in style."—San Francisco Chronicle.

'Angel Dust is a psychotic, sensual nightmare where murder, romance and manga intersect. The resultant hybrid is visually and intellectually exhilarating."— Austin Chronicle

See also...


Japan, 2004
Dead End RunJapanAfter a blistering retrospective in 2001, Japanese iconoclast Ishii Sogo is back on the big screen delivering another hyperkinetic blast of sonic intensity and visual dynamism. For t… More »


Japan, 1984
An absurdist comedy from the new wave of Japanese cinema by a young director, Sogo Ishii, who has acquired a national reputation in his own country for rock 'n roll and motorcycle movies. Here, he te… More »

The Master of Shiatsu

Japan, 1989
An elderly shiatsu master gives a young woman a massage. A massage so effective it seems to take over the city. ... A new short film from the director of The Crazy Family (MFF '85). ... More »


Japan, 1996
Sogo Ishii's Labyrinth Of Dreams is radically removed from Angel Dust, his last film seen in Australia (MIFF 1995). However their polar differ­ences indicate the breadth and scope of Ishii's crea… More »


Japan, 2000
Playing by a high-voltage power pylon as a child, Dragon Eye Morrison receives a massive electric shock. Rather than terminate his young life, the charge ignites a long dormant, prehistoric predispos… More »

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