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Fantastic Fest: Nothing But Butts at “RoboGeisha”

Fantastic Fest: Nothing But Butts at “RoboGeisha”  (photo)

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In Fantastic Fest’s famous secret screenings, the identity of the movie being shown isn’t revealed until it’s about to begin. While it’s a gamble, it’s one that prompts devotees to line up for year-in-advance VIP badges — past secret screenings have included the first-ever looks at “There Will Be Blood,” “Apocalypto” and other high profile premieres, But, as festival head/impresario Tim League remarked in his intro, this year’s first secret screening, of Noboru Iguchi’s “RoboGeisha,” was “perhaps one of the worst-kept secrets in Fantastic Fest history.” After the film appeared and disappeared from the schedule in past weeks, he told the crowd that thanks to contractual limitations, “We’re not going to call this a world premiere, but a premiere of some sort where nobody else has seen it.”

Marc Walkow of the New York Asian Film Festival lamented that “RoboGeisha” wasn’t finished in time for his own festival. They made do by showing the trailer, which needs to be seen to be believed (and can be, below).

The film defies description, with a story about two sisters recruited by a steel corporation to become, yes, robotic assassins/courtesans. Gags revolving around death by shabu shabu, villains called tengu girls (armed with phallic-shaped masks and weaponry), and plenty of anal-related humor involving ninja stars and bullets. (One of the characters coos, “When I strike a sexy pose, swords come out.”) In fact, when called to the stage, director Iguchi (“Machine Girl”) cobbled together the sentence “I like ass!” out of his limited English vocabulary with rare conviction.

09262009_RoboGeisha2.jpgHowever, the film paled in comparison to the aftershow, where League, Iguchi, “Tokyo Gore Police” director Yoshihiro Nishimura (who would be showing his latest “Vampire Girl Vs. Frankenstein Girl” later the same night), Walkow and the tengu girls returned to the stage “for a very special Q&A involving butts and things going into butts.” Dressed in sumo diapers, the pack pranced around the Alamo Drafthouse in next to nothing and took questions from the audience between good-natured bouts of grabass and the tengu girls administering needles to all of the men’s bare buttocks. When one audience member asked why Japan is so strange, Iguchi replied, “Thailand is also up there,” though surely Austin would be included on this night. (Feel free to suggest captions for the second picture in the comments below.)

[Top photo: Yoshihiro Nishimura, Noboru Iguchi, Tim League, Marc Walkow and guest]

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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