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Dead or Alive: Hanzaisha

Dead or Alive

Japan 1999
produced by
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

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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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.

Probably 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!

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

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
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD