Posts Tagged ‘Japanese

14
Apr
15

Why Don’t You Play in Hell? (2013) Blood Sacrifice for The Movie God

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a Primal Root written review

It takes a certain breed to be a cinema buff.  I became a believer in the beauty, the appeal and the power of the movies in a near religious manner. Friday nights as a child were spent at the local movie theater (Oak Lakes 6, Miracle 5 or Capital Cinema here in Tallahssee FL, Rest in Peace, my friends) or at one of multiple video rental stores. I learned more about morality, courage, compassion, love and humanity from what I watched on the silver screen and through my VCR than I ever did by going to church and all I’ve ever wanted to do with my life is make that one perfect film I have in my head. My masterpiece. My chance to project a story upon that screen and make people laugh, scream, cry and think. In this sense I completely understand where someone like the character of Director Hirata (Hiroki Hasegawa) is coming from in the 2013 Japanese gangster, action, comedy, gore epic Why Don’t You Play in Hell?

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Teenage Director Hirata, along with his closest filmmaking comrades known as The Fuck Bombers,  discover a young Sasaki taking part in a back alley brawl. Hirata instantly dubs Sasaki “The New Bruce Lee,” and gives him Lee’s iconic yellow and black track suit and a pair of nunchaku. The group of dreamers spend their formative years at the local community center watching movies and the rest of their free time shooting backyard movies and incidents they come across on the street.

Meanwhile, young Michiko is the singing and dancing star of a toothpaste commercial and has become an overnight sensation. That is, until her Mother, the wife of Michiko’s Yakuai gang leader Father Taizo, is sent to jail after brutally slaughtering a half dozen enemies who invaded her home while she was slicing up carrots.  Michiko’s Mama is thrown in jail for ten years and the powers that be have Michiko’s ridiculously popular toothpaste ad removed from the air. I’m trying to refrain from spoilers as much as possible here, but Michiko comes home to the aftermath of her Mother’s bloody encounter, ends up lsipping sliding through some blood and comes face to face with the man who was sent to kill her family. It’s both incredibly cute, funny, graphic and sets the rest of the film’s story line in motion. A series of mind boggling coincidence, or is it fate (?), that leads to one of the greatest gangster epics ever filmed.

See, Taizo has sworn to Michiko’s Mother that Michiko is starring in an incredible action film, one that will make her proud of her daughter. But when Taizo realizes it’s all fake, that there is no heart behind the camera, no passion and no vision, he enlists the assistance of the now grown up, but still insanely passionate Hirata and The Fuck Bombers to film the epic battle to the death between these two rival gangs with the young and vicious Michiko as the film’s star. See, The Fuck Bombers never realized their dream of making the ultimate Yakuza action film. They made it as far as a mock trailer for the film they lways dreamed of making, but the dream has gone unfulfilled and the group is beginning to fall apart because of it. But this opportunity to film what promises to be the bloodiest gang battles in history. They have prayed to “The Film Gods” their entire lives, and it now seems that their prayers are answered. Director Hirata and his team tackle the project with a manic kind of glee as they rush about the battle with their eyes glued to their camera as blood, limbs, and heads fly the through the air and splash upon their smiling faces.

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I can honestly say it’s the most heartwarming and joyful bloodbaths I’ve ever witnessed in a movie. Everyone is willing to die for this project. Both gang bosses, their henchmen, Michiko, The Fuck Bombers, just to make this piece of cinema as true and spectacular as they feel it should be. And everything is amazing, that is until the fucking police show up (MPAA Ratings Board/Censorship?) and fuck it all up.

Why Don’t You Play in Hell is ludicrous, completely batshit crazy, brutally, cartoonishly violent and a jubilant celebration for the art of filmmaking. Filmmaker Sion Sono has captured perfectly the exhilaration and exasperation of going after any creative endeavor. There is love here for those who dare to dream and are waiting patiently for their moment to come. for their chance to speak through the cinematic medium. It’s impossible to not feel the excitement as hardened Yakuza gangsters become passionate and exacting about sound recording, as Hirata runs through thick puddles of blood, demanding reshoots as the people he’s making these requests to are actually being sliced to ribbons and as the cameramen redefine the art of “Shooting a Movie.”

There’s plenty of carnage candy in this blood encrusted cinematic odyssey, but there is an unmistakable depth of heart present throughout the proceedings. We genuinely care about life long friend, The Fuck Bombers, and their ambitions of making their movie dreams come true.  We find ourselves fully believing that Michiko’s toothpaste jingle could beguile generations of TV watchers including the rival gang’s leader who has been infatuated with her ever since.  It’s the fact that Why Don’t You Play in Hell and it’s wet, nasty, over the top action is grounded in believable, likeable, three dimensional characters that makes the ride of watching it so goddamn exhilirating. You’ll be cheering all the way to the final frame and even shocked to the point of tears by the fate of many of these characters. At least they all died battling for their art, their honor and their dreams. And this mixture of naive optimism and midnight movie bedlam leaves the viewer not only endeared to such shenanigans, but leaves you thirsty for more.

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For fans of not only Trash Cinema but the art of cinema itself,  Why Don’t You Play In Hell? is a flick you MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN. It will knock you flat on your ass, hose you down with blood, then french kiss you with a mouth full of glass, and when it’s all over, you’ll wipe away the blood and beg to go through it again.  Trust me, it’s THAT fucking good.

I award Why Don’t You Play In Hell? FIVE out of FIVE Dumpster Nuggets.

Stay Trashy!

-Root

10
Aug
14

(NSFW) Sex and Fury (1973) Brutal Beauty or Vengeance is a Dish Best Served Nude

artwork by Andrew Peters

artwork by Andrew Peters

a Primal Root written review

I gotta say, there are few things in this realm of existence more exciting and beautiful than a badass nekkid woman brandishing a kitana and lopping various body parts off goons and heavies in the heat of battle. Watching the blood fly and the breasts bounce is truly a remarkable experience and a sight to behold.  I had always assumed these scene could only play out in my imagination, a daydream of a man obsessed with filth and the female form. To my astonishment, to my pure delight, the 1973 pinky violence epic, Sex and Fury, managed to commit this dream like boner inducing bloody massacre to a vivid, mind blowing reality.  Friends and Collective members, I may have just fallen in love with a movie.

Sex and Fury, directed by Noribumi Suzuki is the story of  one young woman’s quest for vengeance after witnessing, as a child the brutal, gore drenched murder of her detective father by the Yakuza gang. His final gift to her, the only witness of the assassination, are three hanafuda cards, the deer, the boar, and the butterfly, which will serve as clues to the identity of his killer. 20 years later, this little girl has grown up to be the stunningly gorgeous and deadly Reiko Ike, who gives herself the identity Inoshika Ocho, coded based upon her quarry (ino = boar, shika = deer, ocho = butterfly).  All the while, gang ringleader Kurokawa (Seizaburo Kawazu) and his flunky Iwakura (Hiroshi Nawa) consolidate the power of their Seishinkai Group, securing the carving of their turf in an ever changing and modern Japan.

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Ocho has become a well known and highly renowned gambler and thief and ends up having a beef with the Seishinkai after a dying Yakuza gambler begs Ocho to save his daughter from the rapey clutches of Iwakura, a mission she relishes tackling. Along the way she crosses paths with two other characters, the son of a murdered Seishinkai rival, Shunosuke (Masataka Maruse), who has some excellent emo hair and, like Ocho, a similar lust for vengeance. Ocho also runs across the scrumptious Christina (Christina Lindberg) a sexy and mysterious young woman from out west who has a legendary rep for being unbeatable at gambling and is also extensively talented with a firearm. Believe it or not, these characters and events all come together and lay the path for Ocho’s brutal quest for payback.

Reiko Ike (Battles Without Honor or Humanity) throws herself into the role with full bore ferocity that’s a pleasure to witness. She’s an lovely screen presence with striking features and a body that’s a knock out. for me, the movie doesn’t get much better than during Reiko’s extensive and lengthy nude sword fight with about a dozen Yakuza henchmen that starts in a bathtub and ends in a snow covered courtyard that soon turns shades of pink and red and the body parts fly and blood sprays by the bucket full. The fight is well staged and beautifully choreographed and shot and is truly a spectacle to behold. I can honestly say I’ve never seen another nude fight scene comes close to this sequence. Honestly, it is a thing of beauty.

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Also, I must mention Christine Lindberg (Thriller: A Cruel Picture aka:They Call Her One Eye), the cult star of some now notorious sex flicks and exploitation classics, has never really had much range, but does the best she can while trying to speak in stilted and awkward phonetically learned Japanese. Whatever\issues do arise from her presence in the film are more than made up for by her character’s ridiculously melodramatic story line, show stopping outfits and some very sexy scenes later in the film. Really, it’s just cool seeing Christine in just about anything.  My only gripe about Sex & Fury is that is often tries to depict sexual assault in a titillating manner, which has always been uncomfortable for me to watch but seems to be a staple of Japanese and Hong Kong films of the period. Thankfully, these scenes make up a very small portion of the film which is otherwise a none stop flowage of awesome sauce.

Bottom line, Sex and Fury is supreme Trash Cinema entertainment. There’s just about everything you cold possibly one from a genre picture of it’s ilk, sword play, gun play, graphic violence, martial arts, sexy women, copious amounts of nudity,  and many of these elements crossing paths at the exact same time lovingly and painstakingly realized.  Sex and Fury is truly remarkable piece of Trash.

I’m giving Sex and Fury FIVE out of FIVE Dumpster Nuggets

Stay Trashy!

-Root

01
Dec
10

Samurai Cop: Six Essential Moments

Hey Gang,

I’ve been asked by quite a few of our fellow Trash Collectors what my favorite Trash Cinema Classic is. Many assume it would be a popular favorite like the recently embraced Troll 2 or the break out craptastic hit, The Room. Is it a big budget bomb the likes of Howard the Duck? A filthy, pervy hunk of garbage like Showgirls? Or possibly an exploitation sleaze fest like Pieces?

Now, the above mentioned films and their ilk all hold a special place in my heart and have their own trashy merit. My favorite is still slowly and steadily being discovered. You know the term, “So bad, it’s good”? Yeah, that doesn’t even begin to describe my all time favorite Trash Cinema film, Samurai Cop.  A no budget, shoddily made piece of action goofiness that surpasses the “So Bad, it’s good” genre and manages to ascend to a higher plain of cheese entertainment. It find brilliance in it’s mental deficiencies.  Strength in it’s countless weaknesses. Panache in the poorest performances. Samurai Cop is…remarkable crap.

In all honesty, Samurai Cop is a film that has to be seen in it’s entirety to be believed. Lucky for you it is available on DVD for super cheap and even includes a hysterical audio commentary track from legendary Drive-In Movie Critic and my personal hero, Joe Bob Briggs which enhances the viewing experience.

However, I have put together a list of six ESSENTIAL clips from the classic action film, Samurai Cop. It’s incredibly difficult to narrow it down to six scenes in a film crammed full of beautiful trashy gems. Really, on a scene by scene basis the amount of ridiculously awesome shit just keeps pouring from the screen. So I did my best to put together these six scenes that I feel define the movie, Samurai Cop. Enjoy!

6. Samurai Cop calls Fujiyama out!

Our hero Joe (Samurai Cop) along with his partner Frank show up unannounced at evil be-mulleted mob boss Fukiyama’s luncheon he has thrown for all his evil henchmen. The scene is incredibly tense and in a barn burner of a scene, Samurai Cop unleashes a powerfully performed cautionary monologue about what America is all about. Prepare to be shaken to your very core.

5. The Black Gift

Samurai Cop may be the star of this film but the man who steals the show is his side kick, Frank. The man has a knack for simply rocking every scene he is in with his natural delivery and ever present sense of humor. At this point in the films Fujiyama has sent out his goons to kill off all the law enforcement officials involved with the investigation into his crime syndicate. Two of these henchmen make their way into Frank’s home just after the man has taken a shower. What truly makes this scene special is how the henchmen threaten Frank, the colorful choice of words and the awkward blocking. Simply, incredible.

4. The Opening Chase Climax and Sex Scene with Peggy (AKA: Keeping it Warm and Ready)

Now, anyone who knows their action movies will tell you any action film must be judged by how badass their opening chase sequence is. Samurai Cop has possibly the funniest, fastest most carnage filled opening car chase battle ever committed to film.  I am serious, it has every cliche in the book as Samurai Cop and Frank drive from a busy marina, through the suburbs and onto a dirt road through the mountains after some drug dealers shooting at random as innocent civilians duck for cover and bad guys fling themselves out of the van as they die.  But the scene reaches it’s apex as our our heros gun down the last man standing, and what goes down directly afterward (before they bother to report back to the chief) with police helicopter officer, Peggy.

3. The Color of Your Ass

Again, Frank is here to save the day as he and Samurai Cop regroup after a horrific stand-ff between themselves and Yamashita’s (Robert Z’Dar’s) henchmen. They dust themselves off and make an ass joke and move on with their investigation.

2. Feminine Costa Rican Waiter & Suicide

Samurai Cop was written and directed by a fellow named Amir Shervan. If you haven’t noticed already, this guy has a peculiar sense of humor. Never is it more apparent than in this scene that springs up out of nowhere between Samurai Cop, Frank and a Costa Rican waiter.

1. Circumcision, Jumbo Jets and the Majesty of Frank

If there is only one scene every must witness from Samurai Cop this is the one. This is the moment where everything falls into place and illustrates just why this film is at the very top of my Trash Cinema pile. I don’t want to ruin a thing for you. Just watch this scene and be amazed.

Like I said earlier, these are just some of my favorite scenes out of a film bursting with great moments just like the ones posted above. By all means, track this classic down and give it a watch. I promise, you will laugh yourself silly. Everyone plays it straight and I really think they all felt like they were making a serious action movie. The finished product comes off as one of the greatest 80’s action parodies ever produced.

So do yourselves a favor. Watch Samurai Cop. And keep it warm and ready in case I decide to drop by later.

Stay Trashy!

-The Primal Root




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