“Gonzo, blood-soaked slapstick... highly entertaining madness” — James Mudge, BEYOND HOLLYWOOD
“Luridly over-the-top... free-wheeling, anarchic humour” — Anton Bitel, EYE FOR FILM
Director: Yudai Yamaguchi, Tak Sakaguchi
Screenplay: Yudai Yamaguchi, Tak Sakaguchi, from Ken Ishikawa
Cast: Tak Sakaguchi, Shingo Tsurumi, Cay Izumi, Akaji Maro, Jun Murakami, Arata Yamanaka
Producers: Yoshinori Chiba
Print Source: Sushi Typhoon/Nikkatsu
Generous and compassionate people that we are, we in the Fantasia team fully understand if right now, you’re telling yourself, “Oh, I have far better things to do than attend the screening of YAKUZA WEAPON, that film co-directed by those two awful men, Yudai Yamaguchi and Tak Sakaguchi!” Yes, yes, we understand that you might have any number of better things to do than sit through this effort from the same guys who’ve directed and/or starred in BATTLEFIELD BASEBALL (and its descendent DEADBALL, at Fantasia this year), VERSUS, MEATBALL MACHINE, CROMARTIE HIGH SCHOOL and much more.
Perhaps there’s important work to be done on that wonderful model railroad set you’ve been tinkering on in your mother’s basement. Oh, right, maybe it conflicts with the renaissance poetry discussion group you joined — don’t forget, your turn to bring the herbal tisane! Or maybe you feel you rather just snuggle up at home, away from the big mean world, with a lap full of knitting — good luck with that unicorn-and-lilies sweater you’re making for Aunt Beatrice. Yes, we certainly acknowledge that any of these whimsical activities might possibly be more rewarding than watching over-the-top action champ Sakaguchi as the invincible Shozo Iwaki, a mouthy, bare-fisted mercenary warrior so fearless that bullets dodge him, dragged back into the pitiless yakuza underworld he abandoned by the murder of his crime-boss father. No doubt the very mention of Shozo’s severed arm and leg being replaced with an M61 mega-machine-gun and a rocket launcher, respectively, will cause you to recoil in barely concealed disgust and fright, quickly followed by the delicate tears only a sensitive soul can shed.
So we wish you the best with that fuchsia silk scarf you’ve been embroidering your name on — Percival or Poindexter or whatever it may be — and offer our encouragements for your ballet studies. In fact, we’re a little relieved that when the action — choreographed by Yuji Shimomura (DEATH TRANCE, VERSUS) — explodes and the fists, feet, bullets and other assorted objects start to fly, and of course Yoshihiro Nishimura’s special makeup effects start to soak the screen a raunchy red — in other words, within seconds of the film starting — we will not have to come gently help you out of the theatre and hold your hand while you shiver, shake and weep until your mommy comes to pick you up.