Skip to main content

ANGEL DUST

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...

CRAZY THUNDER ROAD

Crazy Thunder Road draws its inspiration from the Speed Tribes, real life gangs of bikers and car nuts constantly at war in Japan's colourful subculturai milieu. ... In an unnamed near future Ken ... More »

AUGUST IN THE WATER

Astronomical anomalies scar the heavens as twin meteorites fall to Earth. Strange phenomena begin to assail Fukuoka; a drought blights the region and people begin to die terribly, falling prey to the ... More »

CRAZY FAMILY

The Kobayashi family has problems Mum is getting juiced up and stripping when the neighbours stop by for afternoon tea; son and daughter lock themselves in their bedrooms to engage in a multitude of ... More »

LABYRINTH OF DREAMS

Tickets go cheap on the bus ride to hell. Tomiko is an over-worked conductor on a rural bus line. She receives a disturbing letter from a friend and co­worker claiming that Tomiko's former ... More »

GOJOE

In this spectacular adventure, Ishii Sogo has married the kinetic energy of Akira Kurosawa's great samurai pictures with a uniquely deranged brand of Buddhist spirituality. Gojoe liberally employs ... More »

ELECTRIC DRAGON 80,000 VOLTS

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 ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director