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Sukiyaki Western Django

Japan 2007
produced by
Masato Osaki, Noboyuki Tohya, Toshiaki Nakazawa (executive) for Dentsu Inc, Geneon Entertainment, Sedic, TV Asahi, Sony, Toei
directed by Takashi Miike
starring Hideaki Ito, Masanobu Ando, Koichi Sato, Kaori Momoi, Yusuke Iseya, Renji Ishibashi, Quentin Tarantino, Teruyuki Kagawa, Shun Oguri, Masato Sakai, Yoshino Kimura, Takaaki Ishibashi, Toshiyuki Nishida, Hideaki Sato, Christian Storms, Yoji Tanaka
written by Takashi Miike, Masa Nakamura, music by Koji Endo

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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A lone gunfighter (Hideaki Ito) comes to a remote (Western?) town called Nevada, where two families, the Genji led by Yoshitsune (Yusuke Iseya) and the Heiki led by Kiyomori (Koichi Sato), are vilently fighting over predominance - and over a legendary gold treasure that might not even exist. Both families try to win the gunman over to their side, but instead, he chooses to go with neutral saloon madam Ruriko (Kaori Momoi), who despises both sides equally, and who tells the gunman the history of the place, the attempts to make peace and the love stories of the members of the two clans - which all ended tragically.

Putting his own life on the line, the gunfighter plays the two families against each other, and is eventually seriously wounded because of it, but ultimately, he and Ruriko, who turns out to be a protegée of the country's first gunfighter Bingo (Quentin Tarantino), team up to take on and erradicate both families, which they succeed to do - but at a high price, as Ruriko and many of the villagers who finally took up fighting their oppressors, die in the battle.


Takashi Miike's hommage to samurai films and Spaghetti Westerns alike, borrowing freely from Akira Kurosawa (especially Yojimbo and Seven Samurai), Sergio Leone (especially the Dollar-trilogy) - and first and foremost Sergio Corbucci (especially Django), while also taking cues from Shakespeare (Henry VI. and Romeo and Juliet), and mixing it all up in an entertaining, funny and violent stew à la Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill-films. The result however is less than perfect, one one side it's of course a visual feast composed of many a great and inventive action setpiece, on the other hand though - but on the other hand the film is rather thin on actual story let alone fleshed out characters. And the decision to let all the actors speak English is atbest a questionable one since some of the actors have accents so thick that you don't understand a word - plus the decision also fails to make artistic sense.

Still, as a party movie, Sukiyaki Western Django is ok I guess, as it seems to be the perfect film to be consumed with mates and beer, just don't expect to get anything out of it but superficial entertainment.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD