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Category 'Japan'

Deadly Outlaw: Rekka (JAPAN 2002)

Director : Takashi Miike
Cast :  Riki Takeuchi, Ryosuke Miki, Kenichi Endo, Mika Katsumura, Yuya Uchida, Tetsuro Tamba and Sonny Chiba.

After Kunisada (Riki Takeuchi)’s Yakuza leader and father figure is brutally murdered, he and his best friend (Kenichi Endo) go on a two-man mission to avenge his death, killing other Yakuza leaders leading to a final confrontation by the old man’s killers.

by Edward Tang

I wasn’t expecting anything out of this film, because if it was good I probably would have heard of it . There are much better Yakuza films out there, but I don’t really remember having this much fun at one of them like I did with Rekka. Rekka is basically about a renegade Yakuza who destroys everyone and everything in his path, with crowbars and rocket launchers. Sure the film does have some parts with the characters just standing around, but if you can take that in, you probably will enjoy it as much as I did. This film can’t be taken seriously, from the two hitmen who bicker back and forth, from blowjob lovin’ Yakuza bosses, this film had me smiling the entire time. The tunes packed on by Flower Traveling Band are kickass and basically the film follows the badassed nature of such.

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Dark Tales of Japan (JAPAN 2004)

a.k.a : Suiyô puremia: sekai saikyô J horâ SP Nihon no kowai yoru

Director : Yoshirio Nakamura (Introduction, The Spiderwoman), Norio Tsuruta (Crevices), Koji Shiraishi (The Sacrifice), Takashi Simizu (Blonde Kwaidan) and Masayuki Ochiai (Presentiment)

Cast : Shozo Endo, Shunsuke Nakamura, Yu Yamada, Tetta Sugimoto Teriyuki, Teriyuki Kagawa, and Kayoko Shiraishi.

Produced by Taka Ichise (Ring, Dark Water), five of Japan’s top horror directors, including Takashi Shimizu (The Grudge) and Norio Tsuruta (Ring 0: Birthday) contribute to this anthology of terrifying short films.


by Edward Tang


Introduction: (“Kowai hanashi, kikitai desu ka?”)
Episode 1: “The Spiderwoman” (“Kumo-onna”)
Episode 2: “Crevices” (“Sukima”)
Episode 3: “The Sacrifice” (“Ônamakubi”)
Episode 4: “Blonde Kwaidan” (“Kinpatsu kaidan”)
Episode 5: “Presentiment” (“Yokan”)

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Dead Or Alive (JAPAN 1999)

aka Dead Or Alive: Hanzaisha

Director : Takashi Miike
Producer : Makoto Okada, Katsumi Ono
Screenplay : Ichiro Ryu
Cast : Riki Takeuchi, Sho Aikawa, Renji Ishibashi, Hitoshi Ozawa, Shingo Tsurumi, Kaoru Sugita

Ryuichi is a ruthless young gangster who craves power so much that he will do almost anything to get it. He has no loyalties to anyone except himself and his younger brother Toji who has returned to Shinjuku after studying in the U.S. Ryuichi, Toji and their small gang plan to take control of the underworld, taking the power from the Japanese and Chinese gangs who currently dominate it. On their trail is a lone cop – Detective Jojima – a troubled man who is trying to raise cash to give his daughter a life-saving operation.

by Martin Cleary

Firstly, Dead or Alive is directed by Takashi Miike. If you’ve seen any of his other films then you know that it means that this film is fairly extreme: the violence is raw and nasty, there’s a fair amount of perverse sex, and the film is rough in a way that it almost batters the viewer about as it goes. If you like this sort of film, then no-one seems to do it better than Takashi Miike!

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All About Lily Chou Chou (JAPAN 2001)

Director : Shunji Iwai
Producer : Naoki Hashimoto
Cast : Hayato Ichihara, Takao Osawa, Shugo Oshinari, Miwako Ichikawa, Yu Aoi, Izumi Inamori, Ayumi Ito

Synopsis :
Life isn’t easy for a group of high school kids growing up absurd in Japan’s pervasive pop/cyber culture. As they negotiate teen badlands- school bullies, parents from another planet, lurid snapshots of sex and death- these everyday rebels without a cause seek sanctuary, even salvation, through pop star savior Lily Chou-Chou, embracing her sad, dreamy songs and sharing their fears and secrets in Lilyholic chat rooms. Immersed in the speed of everyday troubles, their lives inevitably climax in a fatal collision between real and virtual identities, a final logging-off from innocence.

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