Giving a little festive brotherly love for Japan

Festival co-founder Eric Bresler says that Yoshihiro Nishimura’s film “Helldriver” includes “a sexy heroine armed with a chain-saw sword that’s powered by an artificial heart.”

Japan has had nothing but bad luck of late, but a new, local organization hopes to help reverse that trend with a multimedia fundraiser on, perversely enough, Friday the 13th.

Philadelphia Japan Arts Matsuri is a four-day festival of music, art and film planned for July, with all proceeds benefiting the Japanese Red Cross’s relief efforts. As a teaser and launch party for that event, PJAM will host the Philly premiere of the gory film “Helldriver,” followed by performances by two N.Y.-based, Japanese rock bands: all-girl garage-rockers Uzuhi and pop-punk group High Teen Boogie.

“PJAM is the brainchild of three local Japanophiles who crossed paths during their independent efforts to organize fundraiser events,” says Eric Bresler, programmer of the Unknown Japan film series and the man behind the local film blog His partners in the venture are Rob Buscher — co-founder of Zipangu Fest, London’s first Japanese film festival — and Greg Christie, who runs Hell Fire Film Club.

“Helldriver” is the latest film from director Yoshihiro Nishimura, also responsible for titles like “Mutant Girls Squad” and “Tokyo Gore Police.” Bresler says that audiences can expect “legions of zombies, buckets of blood and a sexy heroine armed with a chain-saw sword that’s powered by an artificial heart.”


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