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Drafthouse Asks Us, 'Why Don't You Play in Hell'

Madcap yakuza flick to play Fantastic Fest, open in 2014

By Richard Whittaker, 11:50AM, Mon. Sep. 2, 2013

Why Don't You Play in Hell, the latest Drafthouse Films acquisition
Why Don't You Play in Hell, the latest Drafthouse Films acquisition

With Fantastic Fest only 18 days away (panic stations, people!), one more film on its schedule has already secured distribution. Drafthouse Films has added Sion Sono's Why Don't You Play in Hell to its slate.

Calling the film latest "Sono at his most endearing," Drafthouse Films COO James Emanuel Shapiro said, "its a privilege to get to work with one of the best films of his career."

Director Sono (most famous for Suicide Club) is a FF veteran, starting with J-horror Exte: Hair Extensions in 2007. Then there was four hour upskirt romance Love Exposure playing in 2009, followed by serial killer slow burner Cold Fish in 2010. Now he returns to the fest with his latest, a gore-soaked comedic examination of violence in film.

Why Don't You Play in Hell (or to give it its Japanese title, Jigoku de Naze Warui) is based on a script that Sono has been reshaping for 15 years. In it, street thug/amateur movie make Hirata (Hiroki Hasegawa) and his production/street crew the Fuck Bombers get dragged into a Yakuza war as gonzo documentarians. Imagine Beat Takeshi's Outrage mixed with A Star is Born, and it seems you're thinking in the right way. And with Jun Kunimura (Hard Boiled, Audition) as a mob boss, we're already fired up about this descent into the inferno.

This'll be the sixth Drafthouse release on the FF schedule, along with: Ben Wheatley's highly anticipated mushroom-fueled period piece A Field in England; German morality play Nothing Bad Can Happen; Partially animated Stanislaw Lem adaptation The Congress: uninvited guest drama Borgman; and SXSW award winner Cheap Thrills. Start betting now on which FF titles will be picked up by Drafthouse before the end of the fest.

It's all part of that Alamo synergy: Fantastic Fest is the theater chain's own annual festival, while Drafthouse is its distribution arm.

Why Don't You Play in Hell opened this week at the Venice and will play Sept. 12-13 at the Toronto International Film Festival, before its US debut at Fantastic Fest, starting Sept. 19. After that, it will receive a VOD/DVD and theatrical release next year.


Fantastic Fest 2013 runs Sept. 19-26 at the Alamo Lakeline. For more info, visit our Fantastic Fest page.

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