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.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2015
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