GENREBLAST FILM FESTIVAL: Extraneous Matter Complete Edition (2021)

The GenreBlast Film Festival is entering its sixth year of genre film goodness. A one-of-a-kind film experience created for both filmmakers and film lovers to celebrate genre filmmaking in an approachable environment, it has been described by Movie Maker Magazine as a “summer camp for filmmakers.”

Over the next few days, I’ll be reviewing several movies from this fest, based in the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Winchester, Virginia. This year, there are 14 feature films and 87 short films from all over the world. Weekend passes are only $65 and you can get them right here.

Extraneous Matter Complete Edition (2021): Directed and written by Ken’ichi Ugana, who also made the incredible short Vierailijat, this film takes an image that we associate with the pornographic — sexualized tentacles — and applies it to how being in some relationships is lonelier than being all by yourself, as well as alienation and fear of the unknown, across several episodes.

A young woman (Kaoru Koide) trapped in a loveless and definitely sexless relationship is attacked by an octopus alien that hides in her closet and while at first this is assault, it soon becomes the only thing she looks forward to. By the end, everyone in her life, including her boyfriend, has partaken in the sexual nirvana that this creature can create.

Another tale is about a man attempting to win back an ex-lover while training a creature with sweets. As the aliens multiply across Earth, humanity battles back in the third story, with soldiers gathering and killing them. One of those men finds an injured octopus creature and tries to protect it. Finally, two strangers meet in a bar after the aliens have been driven out.

Extraneous Matter Complete Edition does the opposite of what so many of the stories of alien sex in Japanese culture usually do: the story goes on past the sex. In fact, the tentacles being inside humans is such a small part of the story. It’s what is truly inside, the hidden reasons why we do what we do, that get explored within this film. Whether you can see that through all the glistening tentacles and strange looking eight-limbed soft-bodied monsters is your call.

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