‘Grudge’ producer to file for bankruptcy

J Horror wave ends for Takashige Ichise

TOKYO — J Horror producer Takashige Ichise, whose credits including the original Japanese “Ring” and “Grudge” movie franchises, as well as three Hollywood pics based on the latter, has decided to liquidate his production company Oz.

The amount of debt and the date of official bankruptcy filing have not yet been announced. According to a report by the Bunka Tsushin news service, Ichise does not even have the funds needed to apply for legal liquidation for the company, which launched in Tokyo in 1989. The financial fate of Ichise’s L.A.-based Ozla Pictures is also unknown, though all company websites, as well as Ichise’s blog, have been shut down.

The most prominent producer of J Horror, for a long while Japan’s most exportable genre, Ichise has found hits hard to come by since Japanese fright pics began to fall out of favor with domestic and international auds in the mid-2000s. B.O. disappointments in other genres, such as the 2009 samurai swashbuckler fantasy “Goemon,” and the 2010 local remake of the classic romantic weepy “Ghost,” added to his woes.

Ichise’s latest completed pic is the shocker “7500,” which is helmed by “Grudge” series maestro Takashi Shimizu, and is skedded for a 2013 release.