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From the director of Tetsuo, The Iron Man and Tetsuo 2, Body Hammer

Winner: Special Fantasy Award & Best Actress -
Oporto International Film Festival 2003

Winner: Kinematrix Film Award & San Marco Special Jury Award - Venice Film Festival 2002


Rinko Tatsumi is quiet reserved woman in her mid-thirties. She works as a phone counsellor at an emergency phone line at the county mental health centre. She is a very capable counsellor and her husband Shigehiko is an important businessman. They have no children.

It is June, the rainy season in Japan. One humid, uncomfortable day, Rinko receives a strange letter in an envelope inscribed: ‘Your Husband’s Secrets’. Inside she finds photos of herself masturbating. Rinko and Shigehiko live a comfortable and financially secure life, and have a peaceful, quiet marriage. Shigehiko is a workaholic and an obsessively clean person. He spends all his free time cleaning. At times Rinko feels her husband takes his obsessions too far. Nevertheless, she loves him dearly. He does not touch her, however, and because of his neurotic tendencies they do not share a bed. Since the arrival of the strange letter Rinko starts to feel uneasy and anxious. Even though they do not express their feelings toward each other in a carnal way, Rinko is satisfied with their life – thanks largely to her successful career. But her cosy, familiar life is about to come crashing down like a house of cards. Rinko becomes even more anxious when she receives a phone call from the man who sent the photographs.

Surprisingly, the man does not demand money. Instead he demands that she wears a very short mini skirt that barely covers her pants and that she buy a vibrator. At first she rejects the callers weird instructions. However, the man reveals that he already knows that Rinko has been secretly searching the internet to purchase a vibrator. Feeling compelled to obtain the embarrassing photo negative that the caller has of her, Rinko unwillingly complies with the man’s demands.

In the mean time, the husband Shigehiko finds one of Rinko’s embarrassing photos by chance. From that day on, his peaceful but dull work-oriented life starts to crumble. The man who has been making the demands on Rinko approaches Shigehiko and takes him to a secret club, where he forces him to watch vile and horrible scenes. Shigehiko, who had always thought of himself as a rational man who could control his emotions and urges, now finds his world turned upside down, his loss of control driving him into confusion and loneliness.

Who is the man interfering in the lives Rinko and Shigehiko? Can Rinko and Shigehiko, who have slowly been drifting apart, restore the passionate relationship between husband and wife?

Official Website:


Coming Soon

Shigehiko - YUJI KOUTARI

Cinematography - SHINYA TSUKAMOTO
Costume Designer - HIROKO IWASAKI


Shinya Tsukamoto’s A Snake of June is shot in black and white, like the director’s debut work, Tetsuo, The Iron Man, the cult film that really established him as one of the foremost filmmakers working in Japan today. In The Iron Man he used a jack-hammer soundtrack and cyber-punkish composition to describe the fear and horror of a body being transformed into an iron monster. Yet at the same time, he succeeded in bringing a poetic and erotic sense to the textures of flesh and iron through striking black and white film imagery. This time he uses the texture of monochrome film to depict eroticism. Black and white are colours, too. Tsukamoto’s magic is once again evident in this film.

The director’s previous film; Bullet Ballet again depicts in colours of black, white and grey the eroticism between a suicidal teenage girl and a middle-aged man. Clearly Tsukamoto sees monochrome as a very important tool in his filmmaking.

The subject matter of A Snake of June is sex itself. The human body is examined – the living organism subject to aging and eventual decay. The awakening of the flesh, which every day advances towards decay and death, is an awakening to the fact of being alive, to a sense of fulfilling the experience of life. In the director’s other works, this awakening is brought about by an external stimulus – violence. This time, however, the awakening comes from within the body itself.

The protagonists are a quiet, reserved career woman in her mid thirties and her workaholic husband. Both are capable and successful at work. They seem like a happy couple, at home in the life of a great megalopolis. The wife Rinko is gentle, kind, and maternal towards her husband. Her desire for sex, however, goes unsatisfied. The husband, Shigehiko is a fanatically fastidious person and detests the things that his own body excretes as well as any offensive smells. Materially they live a very comfortable life, yet at the heart of their relationship there is a great emptiness.

This is the story of a married couple’s resurrection. Maintaining his fresh, unique visual style, Shinya Tsukamoto has made a ground-breaking step in a new direction with this tightly knit drama and its wonderful performances.


Every year when the rainy season arrives I look at the beautiful hydrangea blooms and sigh, “I didn’t get to film A Snake of June this year either”.

It’s been like that for 10, maybe 15 years. At first, it was about a brutal stalker and a housewife, an immoral tale that would make the juices flow in the mouth. But, funnily enough, when it was finished, it had turned into something completely different. You’ll have to come and see the movie to find out how different; but the reasons for this difference are many: the stalker’s outrageousness; the anger he provokes; my own ageing. To be precise, the finished film was illuminated by a single drawing I did as a child. A picture of a snail on a hydrangea that I did in the lower grade of elementary school which was featured in the school newspaper. I don’t remember the text, but I was a very shy boy and it was the first work of mine to receive approval by adults.

When I recall that drawing, the transparent blue air around the hydrangea comes back to me. When I came to make this film set in the rainy season, that blue colour seemed to set the direction I should take. Within the very extreme of vulgarity, I wanted to see something pure, something beloved, and something noble. While earnestly making my movies from Tetsuo to Gemini, I was chasing the phantom of A Snake of June.

The film is both a departure and an arrival. It sings of eroticism, but in fact none of the characters have any physical contact with each other. Instead of the cinemascope size of ‘pink films’ (soft core films), I thought about not shrinking the screen too much, but of making it square-shaped, one-person size. It tells the story up to the ultimate moment of the only possible contact. In the depths of the city, everyone secretly dries up. If you can hear the faint cries of the characters welling up from the bottom of the darkness, I’ll be happy.


Shinya Tsukamoto was Tokyo and began making 8mm films as a teenager. He studied oil painting during his high school and college years and graduated from Nippon University in 1982. He began his career writing advertising jingles for television and has since achieved international cult status as a writer-director.

Shinya’s first feature, Tetsuo, The Iron Man (1989) received a top prize at the Rome Fantastic Film Festival, which led him to be known as a filmmaker with his own very distinct style. His third feature, Tetsuo II, The Body Hammer (1992) won the Grand Prix at the Sundance Film Festival in Tokyo. Bullet Ballet (1998), and Gemini (1999) which won the Audience Award at Pusan International Film Festival, and world-premiered at Venice International Film Festival. He has been a prolific filmmaker of what he calls ‘cult-entertainment’ films, creating a world with a unique vision and original style. Apart from being a director he has also served on the jury of the Venice Film Festival in 1997, and performed various roles for the films of Miike Takashi, Go Rijyu, amongst many other notable directors.

This famous cult film director often works a designer, cinematographer, editor, producer and actor in his own films.

Shinya Tsukamoto – Filmography

A Snake of June 2002
Gemini 1999
Bullet Ballet 1999
Tokyo Fist 1995
Tetsuo II, The Body Hammer 1992
Hiruko, The Goblin 1991
Tetsuo, The Iron Man 1989
Adventure of Denchu Kozo 1987
Phantom of Regular Size 1986


ASUKA KUROSAWA – Rinko: Born December 1971, Asuka Kurosawa made her successful film debut in Mitsuo Yanagimachi’s About Love, Tokyo in 1993. Since then she has worked constantly on television dramas.

YUJI KOTARI – Shigehiko: Born August 1957, Yuji Kotari, a notable writer since his college days, continues to write essays and columns for a variety of magazines and newspapers. He starred in Kenchi Iwamoto’s Monkey’s in Paradise.

A Deliriously Perverse Tale of Buried Sexual Desires

Winner at three International Film Festivals

Tartan Asia Extreme’s A Snake of June In Stores Nationwide Feb. 22nd

“Remarkable … A nightmarish exercise in cruelty and voyeurism” – The Guardian

“A self-reflexive study of therapeutic voyeurism [from] Japanese cinema’s arch-poet of sexual hysteria.” – The Village Voice

LOS ANGELES – Jan. 1, 2005 – From the man who brought you the cyber-flesh cut hits Tetsuo: The Ironman and Tetsuo II: Body Hammer, Japanese director Shinya Tsukamoto pushes the limits in a unique fantasy world of his own design in the hauntingly erotic film, A Snake of June (released in Japan as Rokugastsu no hebi).

In an anonymous Japanese metropolis, a dark erotic force infiltrates the lives of a reserved career woman in her 30s and her obsessively clean workaholic husband. Invading the most private aspects of the couple’s lives, a mysterious stranger sends an anonymous envelope bearing the inscription, “Your husband’s secrets.” A deliriously perverse tale of buried sexual desires, Tsukamoto’s surreal journey to the dark side of obsession is as stylish as it is totally unforgettable.

Like Tetsuo, A Snake of June features some of the most powerfully shot images of modern cinema. In classic blue-tinted monochrome, each frame is composed with the skill of an auteur. The haunting sets of rain-sodden alleyways, first-rate acting, ingenious story chapters – and perhaps the challenging way in which our sympathies are reversed – create a taut and haunting psychological thriller.

Winner of the “Kinematrix Film Award” and “San Marco Special Jury Award” at the 2002 Venice Film Festival; “Best Art Direction” at the 2002 Catalonian International Film



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