Yakuza Apocalypse (2015)

Yakuza Apocalypse (2015)

Dave author pic“Sometimes yakuza just gotta go wild.”

The same could be said for cult Japanese director Takashi Miike. After a run of somewhat respectable films (well, by the standards of Miike), Yakuza Apocalypse is packed with all the gonzo absurdities that define his most outré works. This is a film that starts with a growing horde of yakuza vampires and soon expands its scope to include kappa goblins (meaning a dude with a duck’s bill for a mouth and a turtle shell for a back) and a monster clad in a giant furry frog costume.

Put simply: this is a batshit movie.

It’s not really on the level of Miike’s more outlandish provocations – like Visitor Q or Gozu – and part of that is because, for all the wackiness shoved into the story, it’s at its core a mashup of two pretty conventional tales: of yakuza warfare and vampiric temptation. Sure, it’s weirder than most of those stories but, combined with the all-too-shiny, all-too-yellow digital aesthetic, it’s not really on the level of Miike’s best stuff. Plus, a near-two hour runtime is way too long, requiring some sludgy pacing and dubious padding around the midsection. At its wildest, though, it’s pretty fun.

3 stars

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