Bedtime for Bonsai

Nobody does ultra-violence quite like the East Asians. From Old Boy to Ichi the Killer, filmmakers in Japan and South Korea have carved out a niche for themselves in our warped American hearts with a distinct brand of pseudo-horror that traffics in forms of brutality ranging from shockingly sadistic to slapstick. And that was exactly the appeal for Carmela Toninelo. After launching the Thin Man’s Wednesday Night Film Services two years ago and showing thirty horror films, Toninelo, the event’s host, is still pretty burnt out on horror. “That was too much,” she remarks. “I don’t like that stuff.”

All the same, the Thin Man had a four-week gap to fill before eight weeks of Pedro Almodóvar start in November, and October is just the right time of year for horror. So as a compromise, Toninelo handed off the planning to a friend who knows his way around the special horror of the Japanese. On display tonight, the final night of the series, is Takashi Miike’s The Happiness of the Katakuris, a spoof about a family trying to start a bed-and-breakfast and having to deal with the odd coincidence of every guest dying under increasingly bizarre circumstances. “It’s not really horror, but it will warp your mind,” she says. “I can’t even watch.”

But you can. The free screening starts at 8 p.m. at the Ubisububi Room in the basement of the Thin Man, 2015 East 17th Avenue; for more information, call 303-320-7814 or visit
Wednesdays, 8 p.m., 2010

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Jef Otte
Contact: Jef Otte