I feel somewhat "foolish" now, as I gathered production info to do this blogpost about "YAKUZA APOCALYPSE" - with the inane violence and fantastical concepts depicted, it should not have been a "surprise" at all to find out this Japanese action fantasy yakuza vampire film was directed by Takashi Miike!
Yakuza Crime Boss is a Vampire, gets killed by slayers thanks to backstabbing fellow yakuzas, transfers his powers to his underling, who starts a vampire plague (imagine a zombie biting plague, but with vampires as the result sited), who then makes the yakuza's existence and presence redundant, becomes the savor of the human race by fighting with the ultimate evil … "full" plot described at the bottom of this post … and little did I know what laid in store for me when I clicked PLAY, as it was only the title of the film which got me intrigued!
Have always enjoyed "yakuza" flicks, and am always down with a slice of "apocalypse" myself LOL
The film's main protagonist "Akira Kageyama" is played by Hayato Ichihara with restrained gusto - even when he turns. His journey as a newbie vampire being trained in the ways was also quite funny, and laid the ominous notion resting on calm waters, waiting for the tidal wave to silently creep up …
We get to see the vampire realm and the fictional world of Yakuza Apocalypse thru the eyes and fangs of Akira … and the world which the filmmakers are building upon threads beyond preconceived notions of "vampire lore" while adding on the insanity at the borders - Nice job this :)
With a name like #yakuzaapocalypse, you'd think this to be a cheesyass c-grade horrorschlock film, but it's actually been quite fun so far! Still cheesyass but very decent production quality I have to say, and hardly graded "C" hahahaha ... Still watching tho, so hope it doesn't turn to shit later hahahaha .... And the "apocalypse" in question: "vampires". Think "zombie-bite-turning" but with vampirism = Blood-sucking yakuza vampires FTW aha hahahaha
This film is also getting decent Asian/Indonesian hype, with the inclusion of Silat Master Yayan Ruhian ("The Raid") as "Kyoken (狂犬) / Mad Dog". We see his "trademark" fighting skills earlier in the movie (twice, if i am not wrong), with the final "fight" a "surprise" - which can be viewed be scrolling further down these images … WARNING: SPOILER!
What I enjoyed as well, is the introduction to various Japanese "spirits" manifested unto bipedal characters, like the Kappa (probably a "Hyōsube"), and the Fighter dressed in a Frog Mascot, with an undeniable bloddlust!
The 125 minute film gradually spirals down to a level of "WTF?" that which is both exciting and wondrous - headscratched to a glorious bloody-pus - and I was blindsided thoroughly, having not "prepared" for this celluloid masterpiece steeped in "underground cult" spirit, rather than highbrow Hollywood-aims, and THAT rawks my cine-world indeed!
The film is known as "Gokudou daisensou" in Japan (http://www.gokudo-movie.com/), and comes with the longish title here in Asia = "Yakuza Apocalypse: The Great War Of The Underworld", and I cannot wait to see if there will be a sequel~!
Recommended for folks into yakuza, apocalyptical zombie plagues, gangster vampirism, killer mascots on bicycles, and manga-made-madness on celluloid, Grade C-schlock doe Grade A-for-awesome = THIS is the film to help titillate your modern senses!
I watched this movie online via my laptop, and wished every moment I could have experienced this on the big screen in a darkened cinema, hands gripped with a palm-ful of popcon, in anticipation and excitement :)
4 and a half boxes of warm buttery popcorn (out of 5 boxes), because if I said "5 boxes rated", I might be over-promising my own personal viewing biasness :p
STORYLINE: "In the ruthless underground world of the yakuza, no one is more legendary than boss Kamiura. Rumored to be invincible, the truth is he is a vampire-a bloodsucking yakuza vampire boss! Among Kamiura's gang is Kageyama, his most loyal underling. However, the others in the gang view Kageyama with disdain and ridicule him for his inability to get tattooed due to sensitive skin. One day, assassins aware of boss Kamiura's secret arrive from abroad and deliver him an ultimatum: Return to the international syndicate he left years ago, or die. Kamiura refuses and, during a fierce battle with anime-otaku martial-arts expert Kyoken, is torn limb from limb. With his dying breath, Kamiura bites Kageyama, passing on his vampire powers to the unsuspecting yakuza. As he begins to awaken to his newfound abilities, Kageyama's desire to avenge the murder of boss Kamiura sets him on a course for a violent confrontation with Kaeru-kun, the foreign syndicate's mysterious and seemingly unstoppable leader!" (IMDb)