Ley Lines (Blu-ray Review)

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18 – 105mins – 1999


 

HALF-BREED HEROES

“Go home if you don’t like it!”

Two years after Rainy Dog, Takashi Miike closed out his uneven and indecent Black Society Trilogy with another hard-hitting drama exposing the disreputable underbelly of his home country. Sick of being bullied and treated like outsiders, three optimistic Japanese youths of Chinese decent (among them Kazuki Kitamura, who would go on to star in Hollywood action sequel The Raid 2) move from the countryside to seek their fortune in Tokyo… and end up falling foul of the trigger-happy boss (Naoto Takenaka) of a city crime syndicate.

… Keep Scuttling!

Rainy Dog (Blu-ray Review)

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18 – 95mins – 1997


DAMP BOILED

Two years after his theatrical debut with the ultra-icky shock-fest Shinjuku Triad Society, Takashi Miike returned to his thematically-connected Black Society Trilogy with this precipitation-lashed middle segment, shot entirely in a washed-out Taiwan and with star Tomorowo Taguchi returning, albeit in a new and unrelated antagonist role.

… Keep Scuttling!

Shinjuku Triad Society (Blu-ray Review)

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18 – 102mins – 1995


 

PEARLS BEFORE SWINE

Perhaps now best known for the gruesome 1999 torture porn paragon Audition or 2001’s iconic crime thriller Ichi the Killer, before his Western exposure and box office success, Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike was highly prolific in Japan’s straight-to-video “V-cinema” market. 1995’s Shinjuku kuroshakai: Chaina mafia sensô (to give it its homegrown title) marked a major stepping stone in the outlandish director’s career: his first release for a major studio and his first release to receive a theatrical run.

… Keep Scuttling!