Machida’s 2004 novel Panku Zamurai Kirarete Soro
was a huge Japanese bestseller. In the years that followed
many cult filmmakers [including Takashi Ishii] attached themselves to
the project. However, most everybody finally concluded that it would
be impossible to make. But Sogo Ishii - Japan's original punk icon (BURST
DRAGON 80,000 V, DEAD
END RUN, et al) - would not let go. He was like a dog
with a slab of raw meat, making the 'impossible' happen.
the obvious level, the story revolves around ronin Junoshin Kake (Gou
Ayano), a wandering samurai who wants to become part of the Kurokaze
clan. To do this, he fabricates a series of lies that should make him
appear more valuable to leader Lord Kuroae. However, as his lies start
to unravel, Junoshin soon finds himself in a dangerous position wedged
between two rival factions within the clan. But this is only the foundation
for an epic fantasy which involves warring monkey tribes, drug-induced
showdowns, and the insanely dangerous antics of the Belly Shaking Cult.
As the movie slips deeper and deeper into sheer chaos, it becomes even
more surreal [complicated by a more intense smart-yet-maddening mixture
of modern slang and the diachronic language of the samurai era]. But
Ishii's eye-popping visuals - aided by Yoshiyuki Matsumoto’s exquisite
cinematography - propel this movie into a vibrant dimension seldom achieved
in the confines of live-action movie making. This is a masterpiece of
wonder and awe.
Ishii (now known as Sogo Ishii) was born January 1958 in Hakata, Japan.
He is a film director and writer, often credited for introducing the
Cyberpunk Wave to Japanese Cinema. He also evolved into a major award-winning
filmmaker with the release of motion pictures like LABYRINTH
OF DREAMS and ANGEL
with optional English subtitles, uncut 130 min, widescreen,
encoded for ALL REGION, playable on any American DVD machine.
Extras include the original Japanese theatrical trailer.