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Even as controversy swirls around this blood-stained work, Shiraishi is moving in a new direction. “I want to make comedies,” he says with a laugh. “I don’t see much of a future in horror.”

The director’s most recent film, Occult, is a coming-of-age story that mixes horror, faux documentary, black comedy and crime. Shiraishi himself appears in the movie—as a director researching a mass murder. He describes it as his most personal work, and says this was the first time since his independent days that he’s truly been given free rein.

“In a way, Occult was also a message to producers that I can make this kind of film, too,” Shiraishi explains. “Or rather, to say, ‘This is the kind of film I want to make.’”

The effort has paid off, as Shiraishi recently received backing to direct a feature-length remake of one of his early works, Bachiatari Boryoku Ningen, (“Cursed violent people”). Shiraishi describes the picture, due out early next year, as “a violent movie about two violent guys—and me, the director, who gets caught up in it.”

Koji Shiraishi blogs at http://ameblo.jp/occult-shiraishi. For more information about Grotesque, see www.grotesque-movie.jp. Noroi and Occult are available from Amazon Japan.