July 29, 2008

Solo Review- Battle Royale (2000)

Sub-Genre- J-Horror
Cast Members of Note- Go-Go Yubari from Kill Bill is in this!

A Japanese Junior High Class gets to go on a field trip... Granted, most field trips involve the zoo, or a trip to the local prison to do "dances" for the inmates (I'm still sore from my 8th Grade trip), but this one is way more fun than that; because on this trip, the kids get to kill each other!

"Aloha my ass... You owe me a rubdown bitch!"
Luckily, Mr Rourke lets them use Fantasy Island to host their crazy little roustabout, although Tattoo isn't too happy about it. You see, Mr. Rourke promised him a week alone together on the island, filled with back rubs and candy canes... and with all of that thrown out the window in favor of kid-on-kid murder, he's a sad little midget. One of the kids kills him with a cheese grater right out of the gate anyways, so no worries.

With the half-man out of the way, the kids proceed to off each other in various ways; Karate, machine guns, barbed wire toothbrushes... one of them even gets the pleasure of using the most dangerous weapon of all... an electrified rag-doll!

I wont ruin the ending here, but suffice it to say that no one makes it back on the bus.

"You want hug Zappy, mister?"
What a wicked little movie! The concept of Junior High kids killing other kids in order to win their own freedom is a pretty strong meditation on society. These days, it even feels as if we're all headed in that direction as a people, doesn't it? It's also a pretty cool premise for a Horror movie.

I just really liked this picture.
I expected this one to be much more uncomfortable to watch than it was; don't get me wrong, it was disturbing, but it wasn't over the top nor offensive. I know the term classy seems out of place when discussing most Horror, and especially a film with a premise like this one, but it fits. This quote from the director pretty much sums up the message of the film: "He described the end message in the film, 'Run', as his advice to the next generation."

It's all a pretty disturbing meditation about Governmental control, and just how far one might go to keep its people subservient, and afraid to rebel. 

Seriously? Lego toys?

I can't lie, that's kinda cool
They're planning a U.S. remake of this movie... what a surprise. If there is a God, he won't let it happen.

*Addendum- The storyline of The Hunger Games is oddly similar to that of Battle Royale. Only one of the series is a worldwide phenomenon though.

There is plenty of brutality on display here, and even though most of it is on the psychological level, there is plenty of visceral nastiness to satisfy most Horror fans.

You have failed Math fo the last time, Yuriko!

"If I survive, can I go home?"... "Yes, but only if everyone else is dead."

Listen to your teacher! Also, Big Brother is watching... and controlling... and manipulating...

"Who else didn't do their homework? Huh? HUH?!?"
This is what Horror should be; smart, disturbing and thought provoking. Battle Royale is a movie about the ills of Government control, and what a chilling topic it is. I recommend owning this one for sure, as it is a Modern Day Classic in every sense of the word..


Go-Go is in this!

"Go-Go! No, I mean it... go. You're scaring me."


  1. Great movie. Great review. I like how ya'll do the reviews here. Just found this site and it's my new favorite horror movie blog.

  2. Hey thanks a lot. We try to make it fun around here!

    Also, this is absolutely a great movie, you have good taste. :)