Taboo, bizarre, depraved and shocking are a few of the popular words you’ll find when you delve into the world of prolific Japanese auteur Takashi Miike. His eccentric cinematic stylings are not for everyone, his work is divisive, but there’s no denying, the man is a true original. I don’t shy away from extreme cinema (except for that Human Centipede flick, that’s just fucking disgusting cinema) anyway, the first Takashi Miike movie I saw is based on a popular manga; the extremely violent and bizarre Ichi the Killer. When it comes to his aesthetic; the man is fearless, shameless and I don’t think he gives two shits about the word restrain, couple that with a dark sense of humor and you have one of those rare artists who is not afraid to go there; into the abyss, into the dark alleys, into the absurdities of life and then some. In honor of the release of his 100th movie, the ultraviolent Blade of the Immortal, here’s a short list of some of the flicks I’ve seen so far, (I haven’t seen them all) Warning; these films are not for the squeamish.
Audition: With the help of a friend, a widower mounts an audition for young girls in order to find a new wife. The girl he settles for is not what he bargained for. Creepy as hell but you’ll find a new use for piano wire.
Dead or Alive Trilogy: While on the same assignment, two contract killers find out that they were childhood friends. Strap on for a Yakuza-fest filled with bloodshed, mondo-bizarro antics of a manga-comes-alive fun ride.
Ichi the Killer: Sadomasochistic Yakuza enforcer Kakihara encounters a unique sexually-repress, psychotic killer by the name of Ichi in one of the most unique Yakuza flicks you will ever see. Nipples get sliced-off and so does a tongue.
13 Assassins: In order to kill an evil lord, a group of assassins get together for what can surely be a suicide mission. This is the director’s foray into ‘classic’ Japanese samurai genre cinema, albeit with the director’s distinctive warped aesthetic and blood everywhere!
Visitor Q: I’ve yet to see this one, however, I’ve been told that it makes little narrative sense (some call it Avant Garde) but, it’s chock full of taboo acts, like the one where a man has sex with a dead woman, she becomes wet down there and so he thinks that the woman has come back to life only to find out that the wetness is nothing else but feces. Yeah he goes there.
Gozu: Same as above, I’ve yet to see this one, and again, for what I’ve read it makes very little narrative sense, but it features a woman giving birth to a grown man. Yep, I don’t think anyone’s going to see that in a Disney movie anytime soon.
It goes without saying; Takashi Miike makes the type of cinema that’ll make you want to take a shower afterwards, so enjoy with caution.
Smell me later! wait, that came out wrong. Smell ya later!