All About Japan

Fists of Absinthe Coming to TBS Digital

| Samurai , Ninja

Absinthe, sneakers, swords, ninjas, and a whole lot of intentionally over-descriptive subtitles. Think Quentin Tarantino, minus the blood and F-bombs. YouTube’s Fists of Absinthe is a period-mixing, 20-minute action/comedy/samurai film written, produced by and starring Tokyo-based action actor/stuntman Chuck Johnson.

“In creating this film, I set out to do something that has rarely been seen on YouTube: to use the medium to create a high-production-value cinematic experience that can rival the kind of content you can find on Netflix or other digital entertainment media platforms,” Johnson explains. “As the film premiered on my YouTube channel, I wanted it to have a strong mix of martial arts and comedy, themes that I try to have permeate virtually all of the content I produce.”

Johnson has played a number of supporting roles in Japanese TV and cinema since 2004, including a key part in the 2014 Toho feature, In the Hero. The film was made possible by the Tokyo YouTube Studio, with assistance and support from Toei Studios and Adidas. Fists of Absinthe represents the first film project to feature Johnson's stunt crew, Quiet Flame Stunts, who played the story’s ninjas.

On February 19, 2016, Johnson further announced that the short film had been picked up for distribution across 40 different television, PC and mobile phone applications by TBS Digital, marking a major achievement for a foreign-written film with a foreign lead actor in Japan. Check it out above!