Raw fish and raw violence

Welcome to the first sushi-themed double feature


Wasabi Mayhem - CUFF double feature night

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In one of those bizarre coincidences, 2012 has given us not one, but two extremely violent cult movies about sushi. Yep, those tasty little fish-and-rice tidbits are the movie trend of the year. Who’d have thunk it?

Naturally, the fun-loving programmers over at the Calgary Underground Film Festival have seized this opportunity to put together a crazy movies ’n’ sushi night, in which daring cinephiles can gather at Costello’s Sports Lounge and munch on sushi while watching a double feature of the crime drama Sushi Girl (2012), and the wacky Japanese monster flick Dead Sushi (2012).

Feeding audiences sushi while they watch graphic sushi-related violence might sound like a risky prospect (are the servers prepared to mop up all that spat-out California roll?) but the good people at CUFF know what they’re doing. Last August, they put together the Cannibal Cookout series of screenings, which were an absolute gas. Audiences gathered on a rooftop patio for open-air screenings of flicks like Cannibal! The Musical (1993) and Eating Raoul (1982), while munching on sloppy joes, pulled pork sandwiches, or whatever other suspicious meaty dish was the selected special of the evening. The overall effect wasn’t stomach-churning at all; rather it helped create a raucous atmosphere of irreverent bonhomie and enjoyment. That’s clearly the intended goal of Wasabi Mayhem as well.

Things kick off at 7:30 p.m. with Sushi Girl, in which a group of criminals gather to eat sushi off the nubile body of a naked woman, who has been trained to remain motionless for the purpose. The diners are a dangerous and unpredictable lot, however, and tensions build to the breaking point, with the threat of violence a constant presence. The cast includes such cult movie icons as Tony Todd, Mark Hamill, Danny Trejo, Sonny Chiba, Michael Biehn and Jeff Fahey. Newcomer Cortney Palm plays the silent beauty on the dinner table.

Next up is Dead Sushi, from cult film director Noburu Iguchi, and it looks like it could be just as insane as his previous films Machine Girl (2008), RoboGeisha (2009) and Karate-Robo Zaborgar (2011). This time around, a disgruntled medical researcher uses an experimental serum to turn ordinary bits of sushi into snarling homicidal monsters. Will anyone survive the onslaught of vicious seafood morsels?

If you have adventurous tastes for both cinema and cuisine, this double feature promises to be a unique experience. Your ticket also gets you a Steam Whistle and a Maki roll. Eat up!

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