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Takeshi Miike: Dead Or Alive Trilogy

Recently finished watching all three of Takeski Miike's "Dead Or Alive" series. I'm convinced. The guy really is a genius.

Watched them out of order. Three first, part of two, the first one, finally watching two from start to finish. Turns out it really didn't matter what order I watched them in. As Miike explains they aren't really sequels:

"...Generally I think making a sequel is an insult to the original film, because the producers think we can make something better than the first film for less money...

So when I was offered to make the sequel I saw it as an opportunity for resistance, for rebellion, by not making the sequel as a sequel but by changing things around. It doesn't excite me very much to make a normal sequel..."

The first film has this mtv style intro that has been written about widely. A "rube goldberg machine" of perversion:

  • naked woman falls from roof holding bag of cocaine, splats on shinjuku pavement
  • guy in kimono lifts bag from bloodied street
  • cops hassle girls on street
  • strippers gyrate
  • guy in matrix style coat and bad elvis hairdo rides chopper on his way to perform mahem
  • businessman/yakuza does 30 foot line of coke
  • guy eats bowl many bowls of noodles is shot in back and noodles spray from stomach towards camera
  • guy in public restroom is stabbed in the neck as he fucks other guy in the ass
  • blood sprays from neck as guy getting fucked turns and tries to catch blood in mouth

and so on, and so forth, six dizzying minutes of rock guitar pounding the viewer into submission.

Every scene seems to have something off kilter...

The second film: "Dead or Alive-Birds" has a restaurant scene where chinese and japanese gangsters celebrating their alliance is disrupted. As you would expect from seeing other such movies everybody in the room is slaughtered by gunfire... but what's with that guy in the back wearing the chicken suit?

This film while slower paced with less action but more story convinced me that Miike is after more than just to shock and titilate the audience.

Using the same type of title cards as in "Visitor Q", periodically the screen goes black: "where are you?", and the final card: "where are you going?"



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