Few films have as fearsome a reputation as Audition, the 1999 horror film by director Takashi Miike, whose other credits include directing an also infamous episode of Showtime’s Masters of Horror anthology series.

“When we were making Masters of Horror, only one episode could not be shown on Showtime because of its intensity,” says filmmaker and Masters of Horror executive producer Mick Garris in a rumination on Audition just released by the Trailers From Hell website. “And the biggest retailer of DVDs at the time, Walmart, wouldn’t carry it. The film was Imprint and the director was the notorious Takashi Miike. The reason we recruited him for the show was Audition, the film he made in 1999, which is like no other.

“Miike sets things up beautifully, taking you down a path of social comedy as two businessmen, one of them a lonely guy widower, pose as movie producers as a ruse to meet women. It’s funny, and almost sweet, as it plays with our expectations. It’s a full 45 minutes before the film shifts gears radically and turns into another kind of movie altogether. One of their auditioning actresses is, shall we say, unbalanced, and the film becomes something shocking, brutal, and unrelievedly suspenseful and harrowing.

“The film is beautifully shot, composed, paced, and acted, so that it’s hard to take your eyes from the screen. This is a revenge movie that goes beyond the boundaries of your imagination, unless you’re somebody I really don’t want to know.”

Check out Garris’ full commentary, above.

Related content:

  • Movie