Tis the month of All Hallows Eve, when things go bump in the night. The chills and thrills started a bit early this year, or perhaps youve been avoiding the financial and front pages. If theres a silver lining to our slo-mo economic meltdown, its that were more inclined to embrace the comic-relief aspect of Japans blood-drenched, taboo-skewering action extravaganzas. Midnight Circus, a late-night weekend series running concurrently with S.F. International Documentary Festival (aka DocFest), sets heads a-spinning out of the gate with a pair of vintage off-the-charts whackathons. Takashi Miikes 2002 slaughterfest Ichi the Killer is populated by a rogues gallery of sadists, masochists, and voyeurs. Come back tomorrow night for Takashi Ishiis 1995 shoot-em-up Gonin, a hyperviolent yarn about a band of misfits who rip off a local yakuza. Midnight Circus Nippon mayhem continues the next two weekends, but on Halloween youre on your own. By then, of course, you may be parked outside your bank, shrieking.
Ichi the Killer starts tonight at 11:45.
Oct. 10-30, 2008