“House” aka “Hausu” aka “HAAAAAUUGHWOOOOSSS”

New Yorkers with a taste for the deeply weird and gorgeous and ridiculous, you owe it to yourself to go see Hausu playing at the IFC Center this week. Actually, y’know what? Correction– you owe it to ME to go, since I live thousands of miles away and won’t be able to.

Comrades, we’re talking about something unprecedented: a high-end screening of an actual print of what was long considered one of the most legendary horror bootlegs in existence. As far as I know, this fantastical film has been nigh-impossible for Westerners to view any other way. Until now.

Kudos to comics/film guru Ben Catmull for turning me onto this raging brilliant nutterfest.

Shot in 1977 by experimental Japanese director Nobuhiko Obayashi (and based on a story written by his 7 year old daughter), Hausu is one of the most riotously demented movies ever committed to celluloid. There’s plenty I could tell you about it (and there are tons of rabid, frothing film geek reviews online if you want to go exploring) but my instinct tells me it’s best to go unprepared, and just give yourself over to being repeatedly tit-slapped by the technicolor Japanese KRAY ZAY. My own virgin viewing experience was similar to seeing The Forbidden Zone or Eraserhead or The Billy Nayer Show for the first time– mindblowing, seminal, beautiful, and fucked up as all hell. Seifuku Koo Koo!

Come to think of it, there are a lot of wonderful things happening in New York imminently:  Throne of Blood (a completley different flavor of Japanese cinematic genius) is showing at Film Forum, BAM is celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King on Tuesday, and tomorrow there’s the Knickerbocker Orchestra’s WFC performance of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, with Neil Gaiman narrating. Plus, two ultra high-concept Coilhouse Issue 05 photo shoots that have been in the planning stages months are finally happening. We’ll divulge more about those shortly.

Meanwhile, seriously, DO NOT miss seeing Hausu in the theater. GO, GO, GO. If my fervent urging hasn’t yet convinced you jaded bastards that this screening is not to be missed, click below for several more clips and stills.

18 Responses to ““House” aka “Hausu” aka “HAAAAAUUGHWOOOOSSS””

  1. Ben Morris Says:

    According to Same Hat House should be getting an english language DVD release soon.

  2. Mer Says:

    Excellent. I figured, what with the screenings happening. Fingers crossed that they include a ton of interviews and extras and commentary tracks!

  3. Angeliska Says:

    Oh man! Where’s my magic carpet? I must see this, pronto!

  4. Dawn Says:

    I saw this at Fantastic Fest – it was tripping fantastic! I highly recommend it!

  5. db Says:

    Here in the US it looks like the Janus reissue will see dvd release through Criterion “later in 2010” — while they’ve been sitting on the HD master for a while it seems as if they’re getting ready, as you can buy t-shirts through Criterion’s site. That said, it’s absolutely worth seeing in the theater given a chance, and it’s a film that becomes increasingly fascinating every time I watch even my ratty VHS bootleg — there’s so much in nearly every frame that goes way beyond the “technicolor Facts of Life k-hole” kitch factor.

  6. la mome neant Says:

    I actually have the divX but there is no subtitles. I’ll give it a try anyway!

  7. agent double oh-no Says:

    I’m gathering a posse to see this on the big screen, fully amped up.
    Thanks for the tip, Mer.


  8. rickie Says:

    shit. that picture is almost exactly an idea i had for a project. maybe i’ll do it anyway.

  9. Mer Says:

    Hahaha. I totally just bought the hideous orange KILLER KLOWN KITTY tee from Janus. I haz Hausu fever.

  10. Z Says:

    I have a subtitled DVD, I can’t remember where I got it from.

    Most people have a movie which reminds them of their childhood, and worryingly, this is mine. I grew up in an Asian country in a twisted neighbourhood near a cemetary on a hill and also had an evil persian cat named Snowflake.

    I would love to see this in a cinema, I have projected it in my house and it’s not quite the same!

  11. Tequila Says:

    I have refused to see this film in its entirety for years as I held out for either a proper home video release or a screening. There HAS TO BE an LA screening at some point this year. *fingers crossed*

    Though with everything I hear about this I wonder if it’ll live up to the hype in my head. The screen caps above clearly say “yes…”

  12. db Says:

    LA dates in March! Complete list of dates available at http://www.janusfilms.com/house/dates.html

  13. Benjamin Says:

    After seeing it for my third time (yes, third, because I am ridiculous), my friend David turned to me and said, “I guess the only real question is ‘House: great movie, or the greatest movie?'” I think that about sums it up.
    Fortunately, it seems like Janus is going to be touring the film around the country this spring, so hopefully everyone will get a chance to see it.

  14. kammer Says:

    […] I wanted to, so I’d say it was a success. I am really good at missing things, like all of this. Nooo! But we went to the ocean and ate green borscht and motherfucking mozzarella dill vareniki. […]

  15. Mer Says:

    “After seeing it for my third time (yes, third, because I am ridiculous)”

    Benjamin, if you’re ridiculous, I’m right there with ya. I can never get enough of this crazyfest. Hell, I bought that hideous orange Screaming Snowball cat t shirt and I’m listening to the soundtrack right now. If there were a proper screening of Hausu within 1000 miles, I’d be camping in the goddamn theater!

  16. Mer Says:


    I’m going to be back in town in April!! I am SO THERE.

    Thanks for the link, db!

  17. jornin Says:

    I had no trouble finding this online, it was even a good rip with subtitles. I just finished watching it, and, I thought I was a pretty jaded film geek, but WTF was that? I can’t even figure out how to describe it, kind of a pervy mash up of the Facts of Life ,Scooby Doo, and a kung fu ghost flick. My brain hurts now.

    It’s coming to St. Louis on my bday, looks like I know what I’ll be doing that night.

  18. Vicki Says:

    This is playing in Vancouver at the Pacific Cinematheque until Monday, April 19.