A yakuza enforcer is ordered to secretly drive his beloved colleague to be assassinated. But when the colleague unceremoniously disappears en route, the trip that follows is a twisted, surreal and horrifying experience.
An tale of revenge, honor and disgrace, centering on a poverty-stricken samurai who discovers the fate of his ronin son-in-law, setting in motion a tense showdown of vengeance against the house of a feudal lord.
As sadomasochistic yakuza enforcer Kakihara searches for his missing boss he comes across Ichi, a repressed and psychotic killer who may be able to inflict levels of pain that Kakihara has only dreamed of achieving.
A revolver-wielding stranger crosses paths with two warring clans who are both on the hunt for a hidden treasure in a remote western town. Knowing his services are valuable to either side, he offers himself to the clan who will offer up the largest share of the wealth.Written by
The characters who are named have been so after actual historical figures in the Tale of the Heike. See more »
While the main character fights on a snowy hill, his opponent cuts a bullet out of the air with his sword. It shows the bullet and sword both moving in slow motion, but the snow continues to fall around them at the normal speed. See more »
[shoots a snake out of the claws of a flying hawk and cuts egg out of it]
[draws his gun on Piringo and whistles appreciatively]
Piringo. Been looking for you. It's the end of the road for you.
What's that sound?
That's the sound of the Gion Shoja temple bells.
You know, those Heike and Genji boys. On a distant island, these to clans split into the Reds and the Whites. Waged a war. Sort of like that, uh, War of the Roses, ya know? In England?
Who won? The Whites?
[...] See more »
The international cut version, shorter by 23 minutes, omits several scenes for pacing reasons and also all the scenes where the big Genji/Minamoto henchman after having his balls shot off develops a crush for his leader Yoshitsune. This version was screened at several film festivals and is featured on most of the DVD releases outside of Japan. See more »
The line between Japanese samurai films and Italian Westerns (called "spaghetti" in the West and "macaroni" in the East) has been blurry from the days of Akira Kurosawa and Sergio Leone. The widescreen expanses of 19th Century lawlessness was a cinematic language easily translated between chambara and Euro oaters.
Prolific filmmaker Takashi Miike forgoes the pasta and dubs his dabbling in the horse opera a "sukiyaki" western. This Japanese stew-like metaphor is appropriate as Miike throws in a great number of influences and references into his dish. What cooks up may bear the name "Django" (and he introduces a coffin hiding a machine gun midway through the film) but it owes more to Kurosawa than Corbucci in its acknowledged inspiration from YOJIMBO. The unnamed black clad antihero rides into a previously thriving town to find it a wretched hive of scum and villainy; occupied by a handful of citizens and two warring clans, the Genji and Heike.
Clad in red and white, Miike injects some heavy duty rose overtones into the film, calling out the War of the Roses, Henry VI, and a hybrid rose bush named "love" quite frequently. At least two of the film's characters are products of Genji (red) and Heike (white) love affairs.
Even with a wealth of past ideas to pilfer, SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO can't sustain itself for its full two hour running time. Things slow down about an hour into the proceedings. In order to inject some life into the faltering action, Miike breaks into the cartoon sound effects library and attempts to make SWD a life action anime film. These instances feel completely out of place, even after the highly stylized pre-credit sequence starring living cartoon character Quentin Tarantino.
It's strange with actors speaking English as a second language (for the most part) and who muddle through some tricky pronunciations (thank goodness for the English subtitles) that the worst performance of the film comes courtesy of a native English speaker. Quentin Tarantino seems to be doing some kind of Western drawl crossed with a fluctuating German accept as if channeling a drunk Klaus Kinski through a faulty connection. Tarantino's embarrassing "acting" may be brief but every second he spends on screen is excruciating.
Sure to be a hit with every hipster who has never seen an Asian in a cowboy hat (allow me to recommend TEARS OF THE BLACK TIGER and THE NEW MORNING OF BILLY THE KID), SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO could do with some tightening up and a complete Tarantino-echtomy.
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