Yakuza Apocalypse (2015) film thoughts... I am an "on the fence" fan of Takashi Miike's filmography. As I am film person of more serious taste, some of his work just gets too much for me. I am a fan of Audition, Imprint and 13 Assassins, though films like Gozu and Visitor Q, leave me flat. I have discussed my thoughts on the director in the past on the excellent podcast The Last Knock, so seek that out if you want to hear it. Miike produces a couple of films a year, the last one I saw and liked was Lesson of the Evil. I heard about this latest DVD release a couple of months ago via the trailer and surprisingly WalMart had it for sale. The story goes as such. There is a well respected yakuza leader in a small Japanese village who seems to have everything under control. A small time hood aspires to be like him and joins the gang. One evening after a young woman is raped by a rival yakuza gang, the leader goes nuts and his real nature is revealed...he is a vampire! Unfortunately for him, he gets decapitated and bites the new guy, passing on the power to him. After realizing something is dreadfully wrong with himself, he tries to control his "urges" but fails, setting off a chain of events which turns the entire town into vampires....YAKUZA VAMPIRES! If you think that is it, you are sadly mistaken as this is a Miike film...this is the least of the main characters problems......
The thing with me and this film is that I look at it in two halves. The first 45 minutes is pretty serious and with some good drama. The main character is really trying to keep things under control, all the while being naive of the true situation. Then the next 45 minutes hit and the film goes so far off the rails into Miike oblivion it's not funny. I can't see the standard LCD American audience even comprehending what is possibly going on here, it is extremely Japanese in nature. It's not to say this is not a well made film, Miike is a master director. He uses his widescreen to full effect, with some amazing artistic shots. It's a pretty wild film over all and I am sure Miike fans will love it. I'm not just totally into the over the top nature of some of these Japanese films, I did like this one though for the most part and would even recommend it as a gateway Miike film. That is because there is a underlying serious nature to start with and does something interesting with vampire mythos. So do check this one out. He must be doing something right as he never fails to get money to make another picture.
Yakuza Apocalypse Movie Review
by Dave Koenig "A Fiend on Film"