Screened as part of NZIFF 2014

Why Don’t You Play in Hell? 2013

Jigoku de naze warui

Directed by Sono Sion Incredibly Strange

The latest from Japanese cult favourite Sono Sion (Suicide Club, Love Exposure ) delivers a rousing and hilarious midnight movie pitching two bloodthirsty Yakuza clans against a band of chaotic wannabe filmmakers.

Japan In Japanese with English subtitles
129 minutes DCP
R18 (drug use, graphic violence, offensive language)

Director, Screenplay


Suzuki Takeshi
Matsuno Takuyuki


Yamamoto Hideo


Ito Junichi


Inai Keiji
Sono Sion


Kunimura Jun (Muti Taizo)
Tsutsumi Shinichi (Ikegami Jun)
Hasegawa Hiroki (Hirata Don)
Hoshino Gen (Hashimoto Koji)
Nikaido Fumi (Muto Mitsuko, Taizo’s daughter)
Tomochika (Muto Shizue, Taizo’s wife)


“Sono Sion’s rousing, freewheeling, scattershot and ultimately astonishingly bloodthirsty film is a classic cult title that will keep midnight movie fans entertained and amused, especially as it really hits its stride in the final 45 minutes and revels in a sword-fight sequence that out-gores Quentin Tarantino’s sequence in Kill Bill… The wonderfully garishly titled Why Don’t You Play in Hell? is a playful blending of Yakuza conflict while also acting as tribute to filmmaking, and while the line-delivery is based around the shouting technique for most of the time (this is not a quiet film), there is also a whole lot of B-movie fun to be had.

It takes a while for the film’s several story strands – a gang of young wannabe filmmakers who relish filming violence; a stand-off between two rival Yakuza gangs; the antics of a child advert star moppet turned would be adult actress and the callow youth who has adored her for years and will do anything for her – but once they collide properly the film finds its real momentum… Often hysterical in structure, the film is punctuated with delightfully framed sequences and a sense that writer/director Sono Sion is simply having a bit of fun…and if audiences buy into his subversive craziness there is a good deal of bloody fun to be had on the journey.” — Mark Adams, Screendaily