Scary 'alien' creature being used to promote Japanese town

Horror film featuring 'Alien of Ariake' attracting tourists to Saga City

Scary 'alien' creature being used to promote Japanese town

A town in Japan is using its terrifying-looking local sea creature to star in a horror film - in a bid to attract tourists to the area.

While many tourism boards use scenes of picturesque local scenery to pull in the crowds, the town of Saga, located on the island of Kyushu, is trying a different tack.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the 'Alien of Ariake' is being used in a two-and-a-half-minute film, which is being credited with attracting thousands of new tourists.

The film starts with a couple discovering the dried-up remains of an eel-like sea creature with see-through skin and sharp teeth.

Sunbathers are told to get out of the sea, scientists declare "everything is going to be eaten!", and the CIA are even called in to deal with the problem.

But the creature is not a special effect - it's actually real and is known locally as warasubo. In Japan, it's only found in the Ariake Sea.

The creature is an eel-like fish, which is nearly blind and has transparent skin and fearsome-looking teeth.

The video cost £6,500 to make, and was released in March, but is now being lauded a huge success, and was entered in the tourism category in the Short Film Festival 2015.

According to Ad Week, the Mayor of Saga, Mr Toshiyuki Hideshima, who stars in the films, said: "I was initially surprised by the idea of this project and wondered how we might attract more people to the area through Warasubo – which is not traditionally special to us.

"The final product is hugely entertaining, and I have no doubt that it will help to encourage people to visit and explore the beauty of Saga."

And Chizu Nagumo, the head of the local government's promotion department, told the Asahi newspaper: "We pinned out hopes on warasubo, an outrageous local creature, to boost public recognition of the city."

And, with £650,000 worth of global ad revenue from the film, it looks like it's working.

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