Junk Head is the singular work of one man – Takahide Hori. He is one of eight above the line crew and voice cast for this animation film that’s been around since 2017 and for the past few years has been hitting festivals like least year’s Fantasia and this year’s Toronto Japanese Film Festival. It’s about a human who takes different forms, the most major one being a childlike robot who eventually gets flashbacks about his true identity. If it wasn’t obvious, this is also a dystopic sci-fi where, as the flashback explains, the world is separated between two much different halves.
Junk Head spends most of its time in one of those halves, the underworld, filled with humanoids and alien creatures. The titular junk head is actually a human with protective gear from above ground trying to investigate an animal in the underworld which he and his above ground scientists believe have the genes that will restore reproductive capabilities within humans. He doesn’t always stick to his mission, losing his different robot buddies and at one point he becomes a lunch delivery android. He also meets girl (Atsuko Miyake) scavenging from one village outskirt after another.
Hori’s had Junk Head from the pipeline, fleshing out a short that he released around 2013. And it’s always a happy sight to see a director and a film that has his stuff together. The character design is out of this world, but there’s also a structure in a project that’s apparently improvised. Viewers can slap any metaphor on this and it will stick. He and his fellow cast and crew thought about everything, including the language that the characters speak that sounds postmodern. He also gives this world a sense of space and fills it with a good soundtrack. See this film.
- Release Date: 6/17/2022