In a rare confluence of genres, the recently released fan-made short film called "ZVP: Zatoichi vs Predator" combines jidaigeki (historical film usually featuring samurai sword-fighting action) and science fiction. Produced and directed by Junya Okabe, based on his own screenplay, ZVP is filmed in technicolor to resemble a trailer for a fictional 1970s samurai feature.

The film starts with the blind blademaster Zatoichi, a character made famous by Shintaro Katsu and played here by Shun Sugata (Kill Bill, The Last Samurai), enjoying sake in an inn. His leisurely drink is soon interrupted by a band of toughs but he makes quick work of them outside the inn.

In trailer style, we are introduced to a very unconventional gang of evil cyborg ninjas who look like they might have jumped off the pages of a manga.

Here is Beehive and Peaboy...

The rest of the gang.

In order to defeat the evil ninjas, a princess enlists Zatoichi's help...

Zatoichi faces off against his adversaries, including the Predator whose ship had crashed into a neighborhood of Edo...

ZVP: Zatoichi vs. Predator:

Director Junya Okabe is no stranger to combining disparate elements together. Whether here, with a Japanese samurai film and an icon from Western science fiction, or mashing up existing films from the past in his recent theatrical debut, Brave Storm, a combination remake of two Japanese superhero series from the 1970s (from the same studio): Silver Mask (Nippon Gendai/Senkosha; 1971), and Super Robot Red Baron (Nippon Gendai/Senkosha; 1973).

Although only a fictional trailer for a non-existing film, it surely has audiences hoping they will be able to see ZVP in movie theaters one day.

By - Ben K.