Horror director steps out of genre with girl superhero drama

Kyodo -- May 11
Japanese director Takashi Miike has built up a cult following around the world over the past two decades with an oeuvre of horror movies, often featuring extreme violence.

So it might appear at first that his latest release, a family-friendly movie about a group of teenage girls who transform into a frilly-dressed superhero troupe, is a strange turn for a man once dubbed by Time magazine as a "master of the grotesque."

But the 60-year-old director of fright classics such as "Audition" (1999) and "Ichi the Killer" (2001) disagrees.

Talking to Kyodo News ahead of the arrival of "Police X Heroine Lovepatrina!" in Japanese cinemas originally on April 29, only to be postponed to May 21 due to the coronavirus pandemic, he said he finds it "strange from my viewpoint" that directors of horror and other genre movies tend to shoot only those kinds of films.

TV drama "Police X Heroine Lovepatrina!," from which the movie derives, is the fourth version of a weekly series that debuted in 2017, with Miike serving as general director from the outset.

As the girls transform into superheroes with the power of a "magical" gadget to confront evil, they don special makeup and costumes and then perform dance routines -- much like the girl idol groups of J-Pop culture, but with dollops of special effects that the movie format allows.

- Kyodo