Release Date: Oct. 9, 2015
Running Time: 125 minutes
When Takashi Miike brings about the end of the world in Yakuza Apocalypse, the legendarily Japanese director isn’t going to take half measures. You want Japanese mobsters? You got it. You want vampires? Done. You want Kappa water goblins. No problem. You want the world’s most dangerous terrorist dressed in a plush frog suit? Fine. You want the world’s most unlikely knitting club? You got it. Yakuza Apocalypse follows the rise of Hayato Ichihara’s mid-level Yakuza member Kagayama. He longs to be just like his civic-minded boss. And Kagayama receives his opportunity when his dying boss reveals himself to be a vampire and bites Kagayama so he can become the new Yakuza leader. Of course, Kagayama feels conflicted about feeding on the members of the community he wants to serve and protect. But that’s the least of his problems. There’s a war brewing between man, vampire, and monster, and whether he likes it or not, Kagayama’s going to have to fight to keep his turf. That Miike goes all out with Yakuza Apocalypse is both a blessing and a curse. He throws so much against the wall that many things just don’t stick during this darkly comic, ultra-violent mob fantasy. There’s also so much going on that it’s hard to keep up with Miike. Blink and you’ll miss one plot turn or the introduction of some weird and wonderful creature. Conversely, Yakuza Apocalypse is rarely dull and it never threatens to sinks under its own weigh in the build up to a showdown for the fate of the world that lasts almost 40 minutes. That’s not to say Yakuza Apocalypse wouldn’t have benefited from Miike reining himself in. A tight focus certainly worked to the advantage of another Fantastic Fest offering that hailed from Japan, the equally amusing Assassination Classroom. But Miike beats to his own drum. So if he wants the end of the world to be a sprawling mess, so be it. Just remember to come armed with your knitting needles.
Aired: Oct. 8, 2015
Web site: http://www.samuelgoldwynfilms.com/