Following its Sundance premiere, the first trailer for Sion Sono’s Prisoners of the Ghostland delivers some Mad Maxian aesthetic and outrageous Eastern Western violence with Nicolas Cage at the center of it all.
Did you see Pig? It’s quite good, with a tender, soft-spoken Nicolas Cage at its center. Pig this ain’t. Prisoners of the Ghostland revolves around a wasteland settlement called Samurai Town, where the aptly-named bankrobber Hero (Cage) is caught red-handed and sentenced… the leather. Set up by the town’s Governor (Bill Moseley), Hero is tasked with rescuing the local head honcho’s kidnapped daughter from all manner of freaks of the Ghostland. Not just your typical post-apocalyptic barrens, “a land of no escape” filled with evil and magic and katanas and guns and yep let’s do it.
There is a catch though. There’s always a catch. In a bit of Suicide Squad-y plot device-ery, Hero is strapped with explosives across multiple… appendages, shall we say. Bust a nut indeed.
Director Sion Sono is one of contemporary Japanese cinema’s most experimental and extreme auteurs. He gave us the yakuza rap battle musical (really) Tokyo Tribe and the towering epic Love Exposure. Matching with Cage for an East-meets-West flavor of wild seems like a match made in heaven. Production company RLJ Entertainment is also home to recent hits Mandy and Color Out of Space, if that gives and indication how “Cage” this will be (on a scale from “Moonstruck” to “‘Not the bees!'”).
Premiering to theaters and VOD September 17th, Prisoners of the Ghostland might incite some doubt over Cage’s current shtick of weird ‘n wild, but concerned parents and skeptical film buffs should consider: This isn’t just Nicolas Cage going nuts–it’s Sion Sono going nuts with Nicolas Cage. I’m there.