Dead or Alive: Hanzaisha
Dead or Alive
Makoto Okada, Katsumi Ono, Mitsuru Kurosawa (executive), Tsutomu Tsuchikawa (executive) for Daiei, Toei
directed by Takashi Miike
starring Riki Takeuchi, Sho Aikawa, Renji Ishibashi, Hitoshi Ozawa, Shingo Tsurumi, Kaoru Sugita, Duncan, Hirotaro Honda, Michisuke Kashiwaya, Mizuho Koga, Ryushi Mizukami, Manzo Shinra, Tokitoshi Shiota, Tomoro Taguchi, Susumu Terajima, Hua Rong Weng, Kyosuke Yabe, Yoshiyuki Yamaguchi, Ren Osugi
written by Ichiro Ryu, music by Koji Endo
Dead or Alive
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Ryuichi (Riki Takeuchi) is a yakuza of Chinese descent who wants to
take on the local mafia with his small group of loyals - and he seems to
be just the man to do it, as he's ruthless beyond breaking point, accepts
that his stripper girlfriend gets dishonoured and killed, that his own
brother (Michisuke Kashiwaya) turns his back on him because of his
criminal conduct, and later gets killed for it even though, shoots his own
associates without warning should they step out of line and the like.
Plus, he's always up for violence.
Jojima (Sho Aikawa) is a police
detective notorious for getting his job done - but he's on a small wage,
so when his daughter gets sick and needs expensive surgery, he starts
accepting bribes from the local mafia - and that gets him at odds with
Ryuichi and his gang, and in the series of skirmishes that ensue, Jojima's
partner (Susumu Terajima) and family are killed ... but if Jojima's one
thing it's stubborn, just like Ryuichi - so a duel to the death is pretty
much unavoidable ...
Now one has to admit Dead or Alive
does have its shortcomings in the storytelling department: The epic story
is just sketched out rather than told, uses a few too many shortcuts to
come together as utterly coherent, and taken on pure story terms, the film
is actually pretty routine genre fare ... and that all doesn't matter one
bit while watching Dead or Alive unfold, as this film's just crazy
in every way, it seems to tumble in free fall from one over-the-top
setpiece into the next, some tragic, some dead funny, without ever
standing still while its imagery is often grotesque or absurd or even
parodistic, but never ceasing to keep one entertained and surprised, up to
the finale that's really jaw-droppingly absurd in the best possible way.
not a movie for everyone for quite a bit of excessive violence, but if
that's your thing (on screen I mean), then definitely a movie for you!