February 5, 2012

Filthy Review - Yakuza Weapon

Yakuza Weapon (2011)

Review by Jude Felton

The last film from Japanese production company Sushi Typhoon that scarred my eyes was the utterly ludicrous Helldriver. That was an utterly outrageous movie that left logic weeping on the floor and went full-force on delivering the action, and the action really does not stop.

So, when it came to watching Yakuza Weapon I expected more of the same. I mean it is directed by Tak Sakaguchi and Yudai Yamaguchi, who between them have brought us such delights as Mutant Girl Squad, Meatball Machine and Battlefield Baseball. With those films under their collective belts you certainly won’t be expecting a Merchant Ivory production. Don’t let the generic title of this movie fool you, there are weapons and it does feature the Yakuza, but it really doesn’t do this mental hour and forty five minutes justice.

I will tell you right now that the plot is once again secondary to the onscreen carnage that fills up the majority of this flick’s running time, but I will give you a brief outline.

Shozo is a former Yakuza turned mercenary who learns of the death of his father. He didn’t have a great relationship with his old man, but he was the boss of his particular Yakuza faction. So, after four years in exile he returns to Japan. Upon arriving there he discovers that the Yakuza he once knew has been taken over by a real scumbag. With that in mind he takes it upon himself, along with his two cohorts, to take on the new regime. This should be far easier than you would think seeing as Shozo is virtually indestructible.

Of course, he isn’t completely indestructible and after one rather explosive confrontation he finds himself with a machine gun for an arm and a rocket launcher for a leg. Yes sir, we’re heading into Planet Terror territory by the way of The Machine Girl. This could well be enough of a plotline to carry this action-packed movie throughout, alas the writers thought otherwise and have tacked on about four or five other plot strands that only really serve to bog down the action and extend the running time.

Yakuza Weapon is absolutely ridiculous; it’s outrageous, violent and gory. In other words it is damned good fun. The fight scenes kick ass and despite the film’s quite obvious low budget the computerized effects don’t really detract from the action. You will notice them, of that I promise you, but you have to take this sort of film into context. You have rockets shooting out of a woman’s most holy of holy, we’re not talking high-brow stuff here. You’re either going to dig the hell out of it or you will turn tail and run to the hills.

I really enjoyed it, probably not as much as some earlier entry’s into this warped sub-genre, but more so than the aforementioned Helldriver. Sure, it does get bogged down with a fifteen minute too long running time (this style of film is suited to 90 mins of action and no more if you ask me) and an overly multi-layered plot, but it is worth it for the wonderful action.

Tak Sakaguchi, as well as co-directing the movie, is terrific in the lead role of Shoko, he’s a mess of pissed off anger and high-flying ass-kicking and does hold the movie together. You might not really like him but he gets the job done.

These style of films truly are an acquired taste. They are infused with far more humor than the old school style of films like Tetsuo, and as such may turn some viewers away. However, if you like non-stop action, outrageous effects and a ton of blood and gore you could do a lot worse than check this batshit crazy movie out.

Yakuza Weapon is released by Well Go USA on Blu-ray + DVD Combo pack on February 7th

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