VIZ Pictures to release action film K-20: The Fiend with Twenty Faces in U.S. and sponsors festival screenings

Takeshi Kaneshiro in K-20: The Fiend With Twenty Faces
Takeshi Kaneshiro in K-20: The Fiend With Twenty Faces

VIZ Media distribution arm VIZ Pictures has licensed the new action film, K-20: The Fiend with Twenty Faces, and announced two screenings at the New York Asian Film Festival 2009, which starts today and runs through July 2nd, at the IFC Center in New York City.

The New York premiere of K-20: The Fiend with Twenty Faces (a.k.a. K-20: Legend of the Mask) will take place tomorrow, June 20th, at 8:15pm, with a second screening scheduled for 1:45pm on Tuesday, June 30th.

Director Shimako Sato brought together a strong cast and cutting edge special effects to bring K-20: The Fiend with Twenty Faces to life. Set in the fictional city of Teito in the late 1940s, it is a world where World War II never happened and the nobility system established in the Meiji Era still exists. An extreme divide exists between the upper and lower classes, with 90 percent of the country’s wealth being held by the upper class. The capital of Teito is in crisis with the emergence of a menacing phantom thief known as “The Fiend (Kaijin) with Twenty Faces” or simply “K-20.” The film is based on The Story of Nijyumenso, a novel written by Soh Kitamura, and also features the mesmerizing rock theme song, Shock of the Lightning, by the British band OASIS.

Heikichi Endo (Takeshi Kaneshiro) is a circus acrobat who is deceived by K-20 and is framed to take the fall for the phantom thief. Using his incredible physical dexterity, Heikichi wages war against K-20 in order to clear his name and fights alongside K-20’s next wealthy target, Duchess Yoko Hashiba (Takako Matsu) and her fiancée, the brilliant detective Kogoro Akechi (Toru Nakamura). But what is the ultimate decision Heikichi has to make?

Actor Takeshi Kaneshiro imade his screen debut in the film Executioners (1993) followed by the critically acclaimed Wong Kar-Wai film Chungking Express (1994). More recently he has starred in films including House of Flying Daggers (2004) and The Battle of Red Cliff (2008).

“There is great familiarity and love in Japan for the story of K-20,” says Seiji Horibuchi, of VIZ Pictures. “The character of K-20 originated in the best-selling 26-volume Boy Detectives series written by Japanese literary master Rampo Edogawa in the 1930s and has been read by more than 100 million people. The film, which we are proud to present at this year’s New York Asian Film Festival, is filled with breakneck action and speed as Director Shimako Sato uses extreme camera angles, computerized effects. For fans of historical drama as well as action cinema, K-20: The Fiend with Twenty Faces is a definite must-see on this year’s festival roster!”

VIZ will also released K-20: The Fiend with Twenty Faces on DVD in 2010. More information on K20 and the New York Asian Film Festival is available at

Below is a trailer for K-20.

Below is the trailer for the New York Asian Film Festival.