With the instant, infinite accessibility of the internet, cult films don’t really get minted the way they used to, by obscurity-trawlers turning the like-minded onto the weird detritus that might click with them. But there are a few marked exceptions, one of the big ones being Steve Ellison‘s 2017 film Kuso, a work of singularly disgusting magnificence that’s slowly built a following from its slot in the library of horror streaming service Shudder.
For five years, devotees of the allusive, transgressive, wholly inspired film work from the musical polymath also known as electronic boundary-buster Flying Lotus and masked rapper Captain Murphy have waited for a follow-up. At long last, an exclusive from Deadline has broken the news that that film is officially in progress, and that it will also chart the outré fringes — albeit in a different way.
Ellison’s sophomore feature has been revealed as Ash, a sci-fi/horror project with a survivalist bent. The brief synopsis provided in the article goes into slightly greater detail, explaining that the movie “watches as a woman wakes up on a distant planet and finds the crew of her space station viciously killed, her investigation into what happened setting in motion a terrifying chain of events.” (Kuso, it bears mentioning, also followed survivors of a cataclysm as they sort through the dangerous world of wreckage.)
On Twitter, Ellison has teased his vision for the new mindbender, specifying that Kuso was more about the body where Ash will be “more about the mind,” suggesting a possible shift from the visceral gross-out delights of his last film to something in the realm of the abstract. But he wants to be sure we understand it will kick ass regardless, tweeting that “I’m making ‘ASH’ with the same people who made ‘Mandy’ and ‘The Raid’ so u already knooow.”
Not so long ago, Ellison stepped in as guest editor for our sister publication Huck, bringing with him a slew of friends and other guests outlining the taste that shapes his demented cinematic universe. Anyone with David Lynch on speed-dial can be securely relied on to deliver a moving-picture freakout the likes of which we don’t see very often.
Published 27 Jan 2022
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