Director: Takashi Miike
Writer: Yoshitaka Yamaguchi
Cast: Hayato Ichihara, Lily Frankie, Yayan Ruhian, Riko Narumi, Reiko Takashima
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 26.9.2015
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard.]
Kamiura (Lily Frankie) is a revered yakuza boss and nobody admires him more than his right hand man Kageyama (Hayato Ichihara). But the a group of strange assassins are sent after Kamiura. When he refuses to bow to their demands, Kyoken (Yayan Ruhian) manages to kill him. Kageyama, unable to do anything, finds Kamiura dying. But before he passes, Kamiura reveals to Kageyama that he is a vampire. He bites Kageyama and dies. Kageyama decides to use his powers to avenge Kamiura. But vampire powers are not that easily handled.
Yakuza Apocalypse is an enchanting mix of weirdness but it becomes a little too strange for its own good. But as it falls apart there are still many things to love about it.
Personally I loved the idea of vampire yakuzas, with the charming addition that vampires can only drink the blood of civilians, not yakuzas which is why Kamiura has established a reform program where he takes people that are to be punished, civilizes them with the help of knitting circles and then drains them of their blood when they’re good and ready. That is just the kind of absurd, outrageous and funny film this is.
The almost apocalyptic frog, the random kappa and the appearance of the assassins almost become just collateral weirdness that adds texture to the film. There is certainly no other reason why they should be what they are otherwise.
But as the movie progresses, the weirdness becomes repetitive and a little boring. Especially the showdown between Kageyama and Kyoken overuses the one joke it is built on, which is not only uninspired but also means that Yayan Ruhian is completely underused. Particularly since the editing is atrocious in the fight scenes. When you got a fighter like him, all you should do is point the camera and let things unfold anyway.
In general, if the movie had been about half an hour shorter, I wouldn’t have minded it at all. Apart from weird ideas there just wasn’t enough there to support its two hour runtime.