Yakuza Apocalypse: The Great War of the Underworld (image 1)

Vampires turn out to be the most mundane aspect of this batshit-crazy saga… It’s Miike at his most gleefully lunatic.

Mike D’Angelo, The Dissolve

Screened as part of NZIFF 2015

Yakuza Apocalypse: The Great War of the Underworld 2015

Gokudo daisenso

Directed by Miike Takashi

Miike returns to the demented brilliance of his V-cinema roots with a martial arts extravaganza which sees a clan of vampire yakuzas take on an international criminal syndicate led by a kick-ass giant frog mascot.

Japan In English and Japanese with English subtitles
115 minutes CinemaScope / DCP
offensive language, sex scenes, violence

Director

Producers

Chiba Yoshinori
,
Masuda Shinichiro
,
Nishimura Shinjiro
,
Saka Misako

Screenplay

Yamaguchi Yoshitaka

Photography

Kanda Hajime

Editor

Yamashita Kenji

Production designer

Sakamoto Akira

Music

Endo Koji

With

Ichihara Hayato
,
Lily Franky
,
Ruhian Yayan
,
Denden
,
Narumi Riko
,
Takashima Reiko
,
Pierre Taki
,
Aoyagi Sho
,
Shibukawa Kiyohiko
,
Yuki Mio

Festivals

Cannes (Directors’ Fortnight) 2015

Elsewhere

Separating the Miike cultists from the critics at its Cannes midnight screenings, the latest from the prolific Japanese genre extremist is one of his most wild and crazy.

“Cue screaming guitar riff and a dozen or so guys in bad suits getting sliced open with a sword. Yakuza Apocalypse is an exercise in inspired lunacy, built around one of Miike Takashi’s signature genre switcheroos: it kicks off as a conventional gangster picture, right down to the Goodfellas narration, before revealing that one of the characters is a yakuza vampire – not a vampire who happens to be a Japanese gangster, but a vampire whose blood-drained victims rise as low-level yakuza, gambling, shaking down locals for protection money, and spontaneously growing punch perms and tattoos. It gets much stranger from there… Miike remains the foremost composer of the off-beat midnight movie. He builds out-there elements one on top of the other, to the point that the movie seems on the verge of toppling once the climax – volcanoes, kaiju, a tricked-out big rig, a mysterious killer in a frog mascot costume – hits fever-pitch.” — Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club