Sadistic little boys and girls on an island: Extreme Asian Cinema part 1

September 24, 2006

This past summer, I explored a niche genre which I had never really been exposed to before. I’m gonna call it extreme asian cinema because the movies consisted of all asian flicks, and these movies were not of the “Hero,” “House of Flying Daggers,” or “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” style, nor were they the past award winning Gong Li dramas. These cult movies mostly consisted of horror and extreme Tarantino-esque violence, and for the most part, are works of style over substance. I have yet to finish a FULL survey of these films (Takashi Miike movies and more horror), but I intend to continue watching and perhaps rewatching films within this genre. After this past summer’s experience, I gained some new favorites (and other nonfavorites) that I am happy to share with you. Without further ado, extreme asian cinema part 1…

Battle Royale (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0266308/)

BR

Imagine this: you are on an island, and in order to survive, you do not need to make fire or find a water source. Instead, you need to kill everyone you see on the island. Now imagine your highschool class is with you. I bet there are some people you would love to massacre, but then what about your best friend or perhaps your sweetheart? Well, throw in some highschool drama and random weapons like pistols, knives, crossbows, tasers and grenades and you’ve got yourself “Battle Royale.” I know, I know – I was thinking “Man that sounds f*cked up!” the first time I heard about it too. I was skeptical about gaining any sort of enjoyment from this flick to say the least, but upon watching, I got into it; it grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. Of the handful of cult extreme asian films that I watched this summer, you have to check this one out.

“Battle Royale” is actually really interesting and complex. Not solely a gorefest of sadistic adolescents massacring one another, the film throws in the previously mentioned high school drama, making this film a lot more interesting to watch. You get to see the kids that stand alone, the kids who band together, the tragic lovers, the crushes, the heros – this film has it all. Throw in spoonfuls of betrayal and confusion and you have “Battle Royale.”

While “Battle Royale” may not appeal to all viewers, it’s definitely worthy of a viewing. It’s the type of pulp that garners substantial interest and is deserving of it. I think this is some necessary viewing; Tarantino fans et al, check it out.

4 exploding collars out of 5 (exploding collars? you’ll understand when you see it)

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