Thursday, July 21, 2011

They Call Her One Eye and Torso Make the Midnite Rounds This Weekend in Brooklyn

It's another Grindhouse three-day weekend at Spectacle this week. Rather than write separate entries for each feature screening at Brooklyn's best theater, Spectacle, I decided to throw all three films in one big blog entry. Not only does it make it easier for all of you with interest in the theater itself, it makes it easier for me because I don't have to keep up the "now showing" entries at Spectacle for the rest of the weekend, which is something I've been slipping with lately.

The Midnite Madness kicks off tonight with the Italo Post-Apocalyptic trash bag, Exterminators of the Year 3000(1983)

IMDB says - "The year 3000, after a nuclear war turned the earth into a desert. A group of survivors in a cave runs out of water and desperately needs new supply. The last guy they sent out didn't return. His 10 years old son Timmy wants to join the next team. They know where they'll find a well, but the problem it the way there, which is controlled by a savage gang of motorcyclists under the bloodthirsty Crazy Bull. A lonesome stranger who Timmy meets on the way may help. "

Now this is the only movie of the three I have not seen, but since it's an Italian genre movie AND Post-Apoc I feel that no matter what the ratings are on IMDB (4.5 out of 10)it's still going to be awesome. I'm not at all familiar with the director, Giuliano Carnimeo, but going over his IMDB entry I see he was actually a pretty prolific director and directed movies I've heard of like The Case of The Bloody Iris(1972). Going to see this tonight can only be a great start to the weekend.

I have not only seen tomorrow's slice-of-awesome They Call Her One Eye(1974) but I've actually written a review for it(here). Out of all the rape-victim-goes-revenge films I've watched over the last few months, this is by far my favorite, and it has nothing to do with the XXX shots. You can always count on Swedish filmmakers of the 70's to go above and beyond the call of duty when making a proper revenge flick.

Spectacle says - "Swedish sexploitation star, Christina Lindberg, stars in this brutal rape-revenge classic directed by Bo Arne Vibenius (who had previously worked with Ingmar Bergman as an assistant director on Persona and unit director on Hour of the Wolf). After being abducted on her way to school one morning, Frigga/Madeleine is held hostage by a scumbag who gets her hooked on heroin and prostitutes her ass to various clients. She eventually ventures out to do some firearm and martial arts training so she can avenge all the sleazy Swedes who raped her and took out one of her eyes. The ultra-ultra slo-mo sequences of Frigga/Madeleine blasting away her prey is both chilling and hilarious.

The film has been referenced by both Abel Ferrara in Ms. 45 and by Quentin Tarantino in Kill Bill Vol. 1. Lindberg has gone on to make numerous eurosleaze flicks as well as become a prominent journalist in Sweden."

And last but not least we have the giallo Torso(1973), a film I first became familiar with after seeing the poster numerous times when I practically used to pay rent at Brooklyn's infamous metal bar, Duff's. I tried to make it a goal to watch every single movie Jimmy had posters for. As far as I know, I got pretty far. Again, this is one of those movies I am very familiar with and have reviewed(here).

Spectacle says - "One Day She Met A Man Who Loved Beautiful Women...


A series of sex murders shock a college campus, and four beautiful young girlfriends head for the safety of an isolated country villa. But as they succumb to their own erotic desires, their weekend of pleasure becomes a vacation to dismember at the hands - and blade - of the lecherous maniac.

Starring Suzy Kendall (THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE) and Tina Aumont (SALON KITTY), this Euro Horror chiller was originally released in America with much of its controversial violence removed by censors.

Presented in its Uncensored English Version."

Spectacle 124 S. 3rd St., (at Bedford Ave.)Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Friday, July 15, 2011

Poliziotteschi Classics Tomorrow Evening at Spectacle

Looks like Spectacle Theater is going balls out this weekend with the Italian genre cinema. Poliziotteschi Saturday and Spaghetti Western Sunday along with their Midnite grindhouse spectaculars. I'll tell you this...if I were single, I would probably be there all weekend, especially for the Poliziotteschi films. I understand some of you readers might not be as familiar with this high action Italian genre I am. Just in case, here's a brief definition lifted from the pages of CG, "Poliziotteschi is a sub-genre of crime and action film that emerged in Italy in the late 1960s and became popular in the 1970s. Poliziotteschi films are also known as poliziottesco, Italo-crime, Euro-crime or simply Italian crime films."

Got it? I that wasn't enough think about this: a whole genre of film influenced by crime classics like Dirty Harry, but being that they are produced in Italy, are extremely over the top like a great deal of Italian genre cinema from the 70's. Lot's of revenge, mob hits, shoot outs, car chases and explosions. Everything a guy could ever want in a movie.

No Way Out(1973) aka Tony Arzenta at 7:30 PM.

IMDB says - "Duccio Tessari's superb Italian crime film stars Alain Delon as hit man Tony Arzenta who decides that it's time to retire from the game. After a brutal attack on his family he sets out for revenge. Also stars genre regulars Richard Conte, Anton Diffring, Marc Porel & Erika Blanc with a great soundtrack by Gianni Ferrio."

Spectacle says - "In this stylish and moody revenge-driven bloodbath, an icy and lethal hit man who wants to quit the game but the Mob doesn’t want to let him go."

and at 9:30 PM High Crime(1973)aka La polizia incrimina la legge assolve starring the superbly wonderful Franco Nero.

IMDB says - "f you have never seen an Italian crime movie, this is a great place to start. unlike many other films of this type, it actually works on an emotional level as well as being very entertaining, simular to the films of Scorsese. it's a very violent film, but none of the violence is gratuitous. lots of stylish slow motion shootings, car explosions, and people run over by various moter vehicles, and the excellent musical score by Guido and Maurizio De Angelis captures the emotion of these scenes perfectly. the cast is also very good, especialy Italian Star Franco Nero. highly recommended."

Spectacle says - "A fast paced, violent, gritty, and innovative crime thriller about a tough cop going hard after an international drug ring. One of the best crime thrillers ever made, this film is relentless and brutal, and filled with a constantly shifting storyline, and a mesmerizing score by Guido De Angelis & Maurizio De Angelis."

Spectacle 124 S. 3rd St., (at Bedford Ave.)Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Samurai Cop(1989) at Midnite tonight in Brooklyn

I knew nothing about the movie Samurai Cop(1989), which is going to be screening at Spectacle this evening, but from watching the trailer all I have to say is HOLY SHIT. I don't really know how I passed this straight-to-VHS spectacular up, but it looks like an amazing piece of work. Bad dialogue, martial arts, and triumphant hair. You really can't go wrong with triumphant hair. I can't believe a mane that glorious is actually going to be shown on the big screen. Williamsburg is going to be jealous.

Spectacle says - "You have the right to remain silent … dead silent!
Joe Marshal, nickname “The Samurai,” is an expert in Japanese culture and martial arts and if it takes a blood drenched street brawl to bring the mobster’s to their knees, then Samurai Joe is ready to RUMBLE!”"

Not enough for ya? An IMDB user has this to say - "Samurai Cop is sure to please all fans of B-cinema. There are many scenes in this gem that will have you doubled over with laughter. From the initial car chase, to the slow motion katana duel between Matt Hannon and Robert Z'Dar, this movie screams cheese. Its aborted plot revolves around the titular character, Joe Marshall, the "samurai" cop (played by Matt Hannon), who has been transferred from San Diego to Los Angeles in order to assist the LAPD in taking down the troublesome Katana gang. Marshall, so we are told, has trained with the masters in Japan, and so ostensibly has some greater insight into the inner-culture of the Katana. What his expertise is exactly is hard to say, however, because he sneeringly mumbles Japanese names as if they were utterly foreign to him. Indeed, the only thing Marshall does do effectively is hitting on every woman he meets in the most sleazy and tactless manner conceivable. With far more brawn than brain, it is pretty clear from the get-go that Marshall won't be thinking his way through this flick."

Friday, July 15th at Midnight @ Spectacle 124 S. 3rd St., (at Bedford Ave.)Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Personally the Spectacle blurb was enough for me, but if you need more to go on, the trailer will have you sold.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Trailer Release for Cuba's 1st Horror- Juan of the Dead

As far as zombie movies are concerned, I'm just as burned out as the rest of y'all motherfuckers. Truth be told, with the market oversaturation since the release of Land of the Dead several years back, I could go years before entertaining the idea of watching a new zombie movie. The exception being, of course, The Walking Dead, but that doesn't really count because it's a television show. As of today, I have found a new exception: A zombie movie from Cuba. Never before have I seen a movie from Cuba, much less a horror movie. I feel like I'm committing a federal crime just by talking about it.

According to Slashfilm and Dread Central, Juan of the Dead(2011) takes place 50 years after the Revolution. Cuba has become overrun with zombies, a blame which is being placed on the US Goverment(go figure!). Our hero Juan, decides the best way to use this lemon is to make lemonade, and takes it upon himself to start slaughtering animated corpses, but for a price. As far as I can tell from the trailer, Juan of the Dead could be compared to Sean of the Dead(duh) but with the social commentary of a dying totalitarian regime. I can live with that, despite the politics. I'm just glad to see Cuba finally become a productive member of film society, at least film that I'm in to.

Here's the trailer, courtesy of Latin Film Reviews:

More NYAFF Action This Saturday at the Japan Society

The only unfortunate thing about the NYAFF, besides the fact that it doesn't happen year round, is the fact that it is split between two different venues over it's 12 day run. Okay...maybe that's not so bad considering several of the films have multiple runs. Regardless, there aren't many times of year, with the exception of Halloween, when NYC residents get exposed to so many fantastic genre films over such a short period of time. Unfortunately, due to a mild case of the Summer lazies and several professional and social engagements, I completely forgot that the NYAFF was upon us. Thankfully, I still have time to "report" on the rest of this years screenings without losing too much respect from the asian film community(like I ever had it to begin with).

12:30 PM - Gantz(2011) 3 PM - Gantz: Perfect Answer(2011) North Amercian Premiere

NYAFF says - "Gantz is a phenomena. A wildly popular manga and anime by Hiroya Oku, the manga has sold over 15 million copies in Japan alone, and in the USA it’s wound up on the New York Times bestseller list. Critically acclaimed, the anime has sparked a global cult. We’re proud to present, back-to-back, the two live action GANTZ movies, subtitled and with their original soundtracks, for the very first time.

In GANTZ, it doesn’t pay to be a good samaritan. Salaryman-in-training Kei (Arashi boy-band superstar Kazunari Ninomiya) learned that a long time ago, but old classmate Kato (Kenichi Matsuyama, best known as “L” from the blockbuster Death Note series) didn’t get the message, and when he tries to save a drunk, passed out on the subway track during rush hour, they both end up meeting the business end of a bullet train. Instead of getting turned into human Sloppy Joes, Kei and Kato open their eyes and find themselves in a posh apartment near Tokyo Tower with a gaggle of total strangers who are all equally freaked out. An ominous black sphere toots a chipper worksong, sprouts high-tech weaponry, and announces that their old lives are over – that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. Now, pop into these high tech gimp suits and go kill some aliens. Play til you win, win til you die. The first one to reach 100 points, wins. Whatever that means. This is the law of GANTZ and its sequel, GANTZ: PERFECT ANSWER, the double-headed death tool that has been devouring audiences in an orgy of squibs, body horror and beautiful Japanese pop idols getting vivisected.

The battle-slaves of Gantz live their normal lives by day, but every night they’re summoned back to the apartment. Every night the weird, alien orb puts twenty minutes on the clock and sends them out to kill another fearsome alien or die trying. Every contestant gets points based on their performance, and even grandma and the kids are possible targets in this inexplicable deathsport. As the few survivors grow battle-hardened and amoral, their alliance breaks down and they begin to chase each other for glory, but what Gantz really is remains a mystery. And what happens when you get 100 points?

Like “The Twilight Zone” on PCP, GANTZ is a funhouse reflection of modern 9-to-5 ennui, where all your dime-store motivational platitudes get warped into twisted mantras of survivalism. GANTZ is a celebration of the savage suicide wish inside all of us – so pump up your PVC, wipe the viscera off your face, and get in the game."

6 PM - Takashi Miike's World Premiere of Ninja Kids!!!(2011)

Fucking A' has Miike been on a roll lately, and hopefully he can keep this momentum going. It seems like the age of the Miike snoozefest might actually be over.

NYAFF says - "Last year, Japan’s wild man, Takashi Miike, made the majestically posh samurai movie, 13 Assassins, which went on to win several prestigious awards. This year, his stately, well-appointed samurai movie, Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai was an official selection of the Cannes Film Festival. That’s all very nice, but we’ve got the best new movie from him since YATTERMAN and it’s got all the crazy Miike left out of his other two films, and then some. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another totally messed up kids’s film from Takashi Miike, a demolition derby of good taste….NINJA KIDS!!!

Exchanging noble samurai for kid ninjas has let Miike get back in touch with his wild side. This big budget, big screen version of popular Japanese kid’s show Rantaro the Ninja Boy (running for 1,437 episodes and counting!) this is like Harry Potter if Harry Potter was a ninja who hid underground and killed people with bamboo darts and ninja bombs. Young Rantaro is from a family of low class ninjas and he’s sent off to first grade at Ninja School by his parents who hope that one day he’ll grow up to be a respectable middle class ninja. But he’s hardly at school for five minutes when a classmate – literally – has the snot beaten out of him, the headmaster starts exploding and more wild and wooly ninja tricks than you can hit with a throwing star are zipping off the screen.

With the strangest, most deadpan sense of humor of any movie all year, this is a big budget kids film in the vein of Miike’s THE GREAT YOKAI WAR, possessing the same sense of fantastical freakery and goopy monster-based humanity except this time the monsters are wild, mutated, freaked-out ninjas with enormous, super-deformo skulls. With a subplot involving gangster hairdressers, constant interruptions form Mr. Konnamon, your friendly ninja trivia commentator, characters who can’t stop talking to the camera, and an ode on the favorite foods of the ninja, this is a high pressure blast of everything weird about Takashi Miike that we’ve all been missing from his new, mainstream, “respectable” motion pictures. Long live the ninja!!!"

8:15 PM - Yakuza Weapon(2011) New York Premiere

NYAFF says - "In MACHINE GIRL (2008), madman Noboru Iguchi famously slapped a machine gun onto a schoolgirl’s arm. How do you top that? Easy! Just slap a machine gun onto the arm of a vicious Yakuza thug, and then give him a rocket launcher for a leg. World, allow us to introduce you to Sushi Typhoon’s latest assault on sanity…YAKUZA WEAPON!!!

After four years of Rambo-esque jungle antics, Shozo Iwaki (co-director and star, Tak Sakaguchi, the hard-hitting action maverick) returns to Tokyo, only to discover his Yakuza father murdered, his family headquarters turned into a shady loan shop, and a powerful gang leader attempting to overthrow the entire criminal underworld! With rival gangs jacked up on “hyperdrug,” Shozo must becomes a one-man, butt-kicking army – and things only get wilder when he loses an arm and a leg, only to have them replaced with more firepower than the entire Japanese military.

Equal parts action, splatter, and slapstick – YAKUZA WEAPON is based on an adult comic co-created by Ken Ishikawa (of Cutie Honey fame). Just wait for Shozo’s scorned girlfriend to welcome him back to Tokyo by throwing a BOAT at him. Find yourself laughing too hard? Watch out for the film’s breathtaking, expertly choreographed four-minute fight scene – shot in a single take. Need both at the same time? How about a naked fembot (NYAFF 2010 guest Cay Izumi) who fires rockets from her crotch and whose head pops off to reveal a gatling gun?

Rest assured, cinephiles, this ain’t your granddad’s action-comedy. This is high-octane insanity, with the madmen at Sushi Typhoon at the controls. Co-director Yudai Yamaguchi (Battlefield Baseball, Cromartie High School) pays tribute to the choicest cuts from his previous efforts, delivering a smoldering hand-cannon of a film that was born in Japan – but kicks ass worldwide."

Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, at 47th Street and First Avenue

Wuxia, Superheroes, and Martial Arts Overload This Saturday at Walter Reade for NYAFF

Weekend two of the NYAFF has already arrived and Saturday the Walter Reade Theater is going to be screening some serious excitement folks. keep in mind that I don't list everything that's playing. I'm sure the movie about the autistic kid is great, but that's not really what this blogs about. We like shit that kicks ass and blows shit up.

1:30 PM: Zu: Warriors From The Magic Mountain(1983)

NYFF says - "Understanding ZU is impossible. This is a cinematic experience, a journey into the essence of wu xia and a mad whirl of glorious chaos, savage speed and eye-bursting fantasy. The impact of ZU is hard to over-estimate. Imagine if lightning suddenly struck Hollywood and overnight and teleported it 20 years into the future. That’s what ZU did to the Hong Kong film industry. Determined to give martial arts movies Hollywood-calibre special effects and production values, young director Tsui Hark rounded up a massive budget, built huge sets and shanghaied Hollywood effects technicians from just-completed Star Trek: the Motion Picture and Star Wars and made a movie that dragged stuffy kung fu cinema kicking and screaming into the future with this frenetic whirlwind of special effects and screaming martial arts madness. Moving faster than the eye can follow, ZU is the silk to The Blade’s steel. It gracefully crams in 60 volumes of Lee Sau-man’s 1920′s martial arts novels about the Zu Mountains (“First to revolt, last to surrender.”) where it’s eternally night and the forces of good and evil clash in its abandoned temples and forgotten mountains. Starting with a blast of Saturday matinee music, armies clash pointlessly on dusty plains. Desperate to make it home alive, a hapless scout (Yuen Biao, Jackie Chan’s “younger brother”) seeks refuge in a ruined shrine where he’s attacked by flying zombies. Saved by a powerful swordsman (wu xia stalwart, Adam Cheng) the two of them wind up locked in an eternal battle in which the forces of evil are organized and efficient and the noble martial schools that oppose them are hobbled by moribund rules and dusty regulations.

With its delirious cutting, funky optical effects and breathless action, no wu xia is more surreal, more baroque or more totally bonkers than this one. The first movie to feature true flying swordsmen, it’s packed with cadres of heavily armed handmaidens, killer eyebrows, Blood Devils, Ten-Day Heart Venom, arcane Sky Mirrors, trippy celestial forts and characters who have no use for the laws of gravity. But it’s all used to tell the story of the kids who have to step up and save the world when all their old heroes have given in to despair. A call to revolution, a psychedelic fantasy film, an adrenaline-pumping wu xia movie…ZU: there’s nothing else quite like it."

Director Tsui Hark will be at the screening.

4 PM - Reign Of Assassins(2010) New York Premiere

NYAFF says - "Lady assassin Drizzle (Kelly Lin, Written By) knows better than anyone that it’s a jungle out there in the Ming Dynasty – every friend a traitor-in-waiting, every child ready to shank you. But when Drizzle and her fantastic-elastic “water-shedding” sword steal the sacred remains of a powerful monk whose kung-fu mastery was encoded in his rotting bones, she makes herself a target, and must go under the knife to become…Michelle Yeoh. Sure, why not? That karmic “face/off” is just the first twenty minutes of REIGN OF ASSASSINS, one of the crown jewels of NYAFF 2011 and a wu xia that gives Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon a run for its money.

Reborn as mild-mannered “Zeng Jing,” Drizzle forsakes her murderous past, settles down with a humble messenger (Korean superstar, Jung Woo-Sung) and embraces her existence as the most blade-happy housewife you’ve ever seen (“You really know how to use a knife! I’ve never seen such perfectly cut tofu!”). It’s all going swimmingly until one morning at the bank, when Drizzle’s old pals from the nefarious Dark Stone gang suddenly appear, threatening to drag her secret past screaming into the light.

REIGN OF ASSASSINS was a labor of love for Su Chao-Pin, whose wild-and-woolly career is being spotlit during this year’s festival. Working alongside Hong Kong master John Woo, who served as a close advisor on-set, Su eventually credited Woo as his “co-director,” and their cross-generational collaboration yields an eye-popping, emotionally compelling spectacle. The grotesques of the Dark Stone gang – from Barbie Hsu’s nymphomaniac bride, to Leon Dai’s “Magician” with his Technicolor dreamcoat of death, to soulful daddy-to-be Shawn Yue with his deadly acupressure needles – are a fearsome yet somehow pathetic lot. Every vicious swordsman leads a domestic double life, past sins dog their fleet feet and the shriek of sharp steel being drawn from its scabbard is their eternal soundtrack. Enjoy the action, but stay for the emotions: REIGN OF ASSASSINS is a wuxia with a heavy human heart."

Writer and co-director, Su Chao-pin, will be at the screening.

9 PM - Haunters(2010) New York Premiere

NYFF says - "50% horror movie, 50% superhero film and 100% Korean thriller, this is one dark, super-powered ride that became a big hit when it was released. Seoul, 1991: A little boy with a prosthetic leg is blindfolded, stumbling through the rain, clinging to his mother’s wrist. She orders him not to remove the blindfold, but when they reach home his abusive father begins beating his mother. In response, the boy removes the blindfold and uses his strange, glittering gaze to make Dad snap his own neck. When his mother fails to kill her telepathic spawn in his sleep, he wanders off into the night, a white-suited phantom lurking on the fringes of humanity, with only his model city to keep him company. From his vantage point, the rest of the world simply looks like…toys.

Seoul, 2010: Kyu-Nam (TV star Koo So) is an out-of-work laborer looking for a new gig. He answers an ad from the local pawn shop and everything seems to be going well until, on his first day of work, the silver-haired mystery man (Korean heartthrob, Gang Dong-Won, of Secret Reunion and M fame) walks in and begins robbing the till. Everyone in the store is helpless against his omnipotent glittering eyes – everyone except Kyu-Nam. So begins a mind-bending game of cat and mouse, with an entire city set against our working-class hero, who must band together with his screwed-up, foreign pals to take down an evil, psychic god who uses every single soul in Seoul as his pawns in a deadly hunt to eradicate the one man who can stand against him.

The directorial debut of Kim Min-Suk, the screenwriter behind The Good, The Bad and the Weird, HAUNTERS is the dizzying lovechild of Unbreakable and The Fugitive, a genre beast that mixes pulse-pounding thrills with gut-wrenching moments like a woman forced to toss her helpless baby in front of a speeding train. This box office hit from Korea shows the dark side of the X-men, portraying a world where the only people with superpowers are psychopaths and it’s up the normal folks to step up and shut them down."

and for the Midnite Action Spectacular- BKO: Bangkok Knockout(2010)

This is the kind of shit Midnite was invented for, and the best part about it is you can still wallow in post-work drunkiness for a couple of hours before the film starts. It would actually probably make it that much more exciting.

Time Out New York says - “Somebody was smoking something when they came up with this endearingly goofy Thai action film in which a group of movie stuntpeople are unwittingly recruited for a Survivor-esque competition. The movie begins like a manic Eastern parody of The Hangover, but then the martial-arts goodies come fast and furious: cage fights, dirt-bike fu, men in iron masks wielding flaming swords. There’s even a hospital musical number”

Walter Reade Theater, West 65th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave, on the upper level, Upper West Side

and now for the best part...Trailage!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Battle Royale 10th Anniversary Screening on Friday

Fuck!!! The Summer holiday lazies took a pretty strong hold on me this past week and caused me to forget that the NYAFF(New York Asian Film Festival) kicked off this past weekend. Typically, I like to be on top of this shit, but warm weather and summer in the City leads me astray. I've missed a couple of days but I can still provide this audience with the information they may need to enjoy the rest of the series.

It's hard to believe that it's been 10 years since the release of one of my favorite movies of all time. Granted, It took me about a year for me to get my grubby little paws on it. Battle Royale(2000) was the film most responsible for me getting into Japanese horror weirdness over a better part of the last decade. I love this film so much, I even bought the tee shirt, which gets both cheers and jeers from those few who know the masterpiece. Despite it's availability of the DVD, Battle Royale never really received a proper US screening when it was released a decade ago. Thankfully those of us who have longed for the day we get to see it theatrically will have to wait no longer. if you have never seen BR, I strongly urge you to take time out of your Friday drinking schedule to head into Manhattan for the opportunity of a lifetime. And don't pass it off as a run-of-the-mill Japanese gorefest. As awesome as the action and sheer brutality in the film is, the social commentary alone is enough to grab the attention of any art-school stick-in-the-mud.

Subway Cinema says - "The biggest, most important unseen Japanese movie of the past decade, BATTLE ROYALE is finally free to be shown on US screens! The last film from Japan’s master director Kinji Fukasaku (Battles Without Honor and Humanity series, among others), BATTLE ROYALE was a huge hit in Japan and became an underground sensation in America after its distributor took it off the North American market due to fears of copycat crimes in the wake of the Columbine Shootings. But this is not the atrocity exhibition you’ve been led to believe. This is the climax to the career of Japan’s most socially conscious director, a ferocious plea for kids to run from anyone over 30 who wants to put a rifle in their hands and a movie that was born in the hellfire of Fukasaku’s World War II experiences. If you’ve never seen it before, come prepared to be hit hard.

It’s the near future. Every year, a tenth-grade class is selected by lottery and let loose on an island in front of reality TV cameras to participate in the greatest game show of them all: the Battle Royale. The kids are forced to kill each other for the viewing enjoyment of the folks at home, and the last one standing wins the prize: life. When this class wakes up and have weapons put in their hands they’re faced with the stark choice of kill or be killed. Some choose suicide, some form alliances and some decide to kill every single person who crosses their paths.

When Fukasaku was the same age as the kids in this movie, WW II was raging and he worked in a bomb factory, cleaning up the mangled bodies of those killed in air raids. At 71 years old he made BATTLE ROYALE and it’s his passionate warning to those same kids to run from the powers that be. When BATTLE ROYALE was rated so that kids 15 and under couldn’t see it, Fukasaku advised them to sneak into theaters anyways, and we’re saying the same thing to everyone under 18. Sneak out of the house, show your student ID for a cheap ticket and sit down for a movie that’s going to change your life."

Friday, July 8th 9:15 PM @ Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, at 47th Street and First Avenue