Full Metal Yakuza

Starring: Ren Osugi Tsuyoshi, Ujiki Yasushi Kitamura and Shoko Nakahara
Artsmagic Ltd
RRP: 19.99
Certificate: 18
Available now

When a bumbling gangster is killed in the crossfire of a yakuza execution, it's the the best think that ever happened to him. Rebuilt by a mad professor as a super-robo yakuza (with private parts to match) this full-metal killer is ready to find out who was responsible for his death and mete out bloody revenge...

From Japanese cult director Miike Takashi comes a funny, Japanese version of Robocop. And that's all you need to know.

Well it isn't actually. What you need to know is that this is a very fine example of why Takashi is one of the strongest directors in Japanese film. You only have to take a look some of his other work to realise that he has his own style and he will use it to full effect if he has to. And in this movie... he does just fine.

As I said above this is a Japanese version of Robocop. Not even making it to Japanese cinema screens this is a tale of stupidity, revenge and violence. Oh and great comedy as well.

This movie was part of a new wave for Japanese film as the video shelves in shops had less and less on them. Production companies wanted to reverse this trend and started making straight to video movies (but rather good ones). And this film is Takashi's effort.

The first thing you will notice, is that this is a budget movie. The effects are nothing special and the film quality is lacking. But boy is it fun. Disengage your brain. Kick back and enjoy this. You wont see a straight to video film of this quality very often, so enjoy it.

The DVD itself is probably as good as you are going to get. The picture is grainy but as the source material was probably a lot worse than this. The transfer holds up just fine, and the sound is average but functional. There are also some special features; these consist of interviews with the director and producers of the film, preview, trailers filmographies and an audio commentary by expert Tom Mes.

All in all a great package for a lowly cheap film that has cult classic stamped all over it.

Simon Lee

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