Saturday, October 29, 2005

Batoru Rowaiaru

This week I watched Battle Royale (directed by the late Kinji Fukasaku) for the first time, although I've been wanting to for quite a while. I got it through Netflix (which I am becoming quite happy with, although I am still in the honeymoon period). BR is a Japanese combination of Lord of the Flies, 1984, and Survivor. The government puts a ninth-grade class on a deserted (but booby-trapped) island, gives them a random distribution of weapons (you might get a machine gun; you might get a folding paper fan) and the last one alive is the winner. This is a great movie, except for those of the Bill Bennett/Joe Lieberman school of thought. And really, if you are of that school of thought, why do you even bother being on the Internet?

This and other Fukasaku films were some of Tarantino's inspirations for KBV1&2. (Btw, when is QT going to do something with Takeshi Kitano?) Checking IMDB for Fukasaku, I see that I have more of a history with him than I had realized. He directed a late-60s international space monster movie called The Green Slime, which I remember from the late late show (on the low-budget indy station) circa 1977. He directed some of the Japanese portions of Tora! Tora! Tora! There is a recently released six-volume DVD series that I have been wanting to check out called The Yakuza Papers: Battles Without Honor and Humanity. There is also a recently released stand-alone DVD version of Under the Flag of the Rising Sun that I am putting on my Netflix queue. And, to my pleasant surprise, he is the director of the acid-trippy, occultish, disturbing-image-laden Samurai Resurrection (recently remade), which I have on VHS because Sonny Chiba starred in it.

Next on the agenda? Battle Royale II: Requiem, of course.


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