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Dead Or Alive [DVD] [1999]

Riki Takeuchi , Sho Aikawa , Miike Takashi    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Price: £8.06 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Dead Or Alive [DVD] [1999] + Dead Or Alive 2 [DVD] [2000] + Dead or Alive 3 [DVD] [2007]
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Product details

  • Actors: Riki Takeuchi, Sho Aikawa, Renji Ishibashi, Hitoshi Ozawa, Shingo Tsurumi
  • Directors: Miike Takashi
  • Producers: Katsumi Ono, Makoto Okada
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Tartan
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Jun 2002
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000066CX0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 51,107 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Special Features
Star and Director Filmographies
Scene Selection
Original Trailer
Miike Takashi Interview
Chris Campion Film Notes Asia Extreme Trailer Reel

Feature Length: 105 mins Approx
Video Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen
Disc Format: PAL DVD 5
Region code: 0
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English

From Amazon.co.uk

The director of Dead or Alive, Takashi Miike, made his name on the international scene with Audition, a chilling psychological thriller that builds from a quiet start towards a prolonged torture sequence almost too unbearable to watch. But such deliberate pacing isn't typical of Miike, whose movies often assault the viewer with an onslaught of slam-bang action that makes John Woo look like Eric Rohmer. Dead or Alive, his most successful cops-vs-yakuza thriller to date, kicks off with six non-stop minutes of machine gun-paced violence, sex and slaughter, all set to a pounding heavy-metal beat.

Thereafter things calm down a little, though not much. Given Miike's penchant for murky, livid-toned visuals and skewed camera angles, it's not always too easy to work out exactly who's doing what to whom, but the general outline's clear enough. The Tokyo underworld is being torn apart by a turf war between the yakuza gangs and the invading Chinese triads. Ambitious yakuza member Ryuichi isn't above playing both sides off against each other in his bid for power, while police detective Jojima, himself none too scrupulous in his methods, is out to destroy the gangs.

Into this conventional plot framework Miike piles enough warped characters and bizarre, twisted happenings to fuel half-a-dozen Tarantino movies, while cheerfully borrowing--and inflating--key moments from such hard-boiled gangster-noirs as The Big Heat and Kiss Me Deadly. One character deep-fries his own hand, a stripper is drowned in a paddling-pool filled with her own excrement, and the literally apocalyptic finale, the showdown to end all showdowns, will leave you gasping. The appallingly prolific Miike, who regularly makes about five movies a year, has since directed two sequels--the first only three months after the original.--Philip Kemp


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
In the interview for the region 2, Tartan DVD of Dead or Alive, filmmaker Takashi Miike relates the details of the film's haphazard conception; proudly stating that the film was made in reaction to the money hungry producers who approached the gonzo filmmaker with the two male leads and the basic outline of a plot - and then told him to base whatever he wanted around them - safe in the knowledge that the star power alone would be enough to make it a hit. Thus, Miike's idea of for the film was to purposely go against this notion and to fill the film with enough jaw-dropping scenes and situations as to make it incredibly difficult for the film to play to any kind of mainstream audience. In doing so, he managed to create a lucrative three-film franchise that seems to parody the kind of Yakuza-based crime stories that the director was initially known for; whilst simultaneously deconstructing the entire language of the film in a way that is both satirical and highly subversive.

Of course, this kind of cinematic excess is easy to appreciate on paper, but perhaps not so exciting for those of us looking for a "proper film"... and, if the second half of this statement relates to you, then most probably Dead or Alive is something you might want to miss (if you do want to see Miike handle a more routine crime story, then I suggest his Triad Society trilogy, including the films Shinjuku Triad Society, Lay Lines and Rainy Dog).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definately breaks conventions, but.... 7 July 2002
By E Parry
Format:DVD
The beggining and the end of this film are extreme stuff, it's crazy, punk-rock, way-over-the-top action, it's quite insane. However, the rest of it is completely different in tone, being a more serious story about gangs and a cop trying to pay for his daughters operation. Maybe it's just me, but I found the plot quite hard to follow, and there are some cultural references that we westerners don't generally know about. It's easier if you read the film notes that are on the DVD, but they kind of give away the ending.
This film wasn't as extreme as had been made out, but it's still pretty hardcore. The two or three scenes people have made most reference to were not at all how I expected, but may be more surprising if you don't know they're there. However, the bit where the man fries his own hand was quite silly and not believable enough to be either funny or shocking.
After the trailer, and the beggining of the film (the two are actually quite similar), I was hoping and expecting the rest of the film to be at least somewhat similar, but it's almost like a different film, and after the ultra-violent black humour of the opening sequence, you're not really prepared to take the characters seriously, so any attempt to care for them doesn't really work. The director seems to like playing with peoples expectations, but in this case so what if it doesn't really work?
This film is worth a watch, and may improve with repeat viewings, although it does rely on shock tactics.
The DVD is fine, no problems with picture or sound, and there's some fairly interesting extras.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ultra violence Miike style 8 Nov 2006
By Nicholas VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
Fine stuff from Japanese director Takashi. Dead or alive is a gangster style flick that revolves around a turf tussle between the chinese triads and the japanese yakuza. At the front of the film is a tough cop intent on putting and end to the reign of terror...yeah sounds boringly familiar doesn't it. In truth this film has a fairly thin story but the set pieces and shock value it incorperates make it an enjoyable view.

The paddling pool scene is particularly memorable as is the much hyped but still excellent opening scene. My favourite section from the film must be the crazy party shootout though which has seen many isolated viewings in my player. Definitely one for the boys.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:DVD
In the interview for the region 2, Tartan DVD of Dead or Alive, filmmaker Takashi Miike relates the details of the film's haphazard conception; proudly stating that the film was made in reaction to the money hungry producers who approached the gonzo filmmaker with the two male leads and the basic outline of a plot - and then told him to base whatever he wanted around them - safe in the knowledge that the star power alone would be enough to make it a hit. Thus, Miike's idea of for the film was to purposely go against this notion and to fill the film with enough jaw-dropping scenes and situations as to make it incredibly difficult for the film to play to any kind of mainstream audience. In doing so, he managed to create a lucrative three-film franchise that seems to parody the kind of Yakuza-based crime stories that the director was initially known for; whilst simultaneously deconstructing the entire language of the film in a way that is both satirical and highly subversive.

Of course, this kind of cinematic excess is easy to appreciate on paper, but perhaps not so exciting for those of us looking for a "proper film"... and, if the second half of this statement relates to you, then most probably Dead or Alive is something you might want to miss (if you do want to see Miike handle a more routine crime story, then I suggest his Triad Society trilogy, including the films Shinjuku Triad Society, Lay Lines and Rainy Dog).
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Something twisted, something shocking, all great!
The first part Takashi Miike's fantastic DOA trilogy starts with a mind-blowing montage of ultra-violence and all that is nasty, but quickly slows down to turn out to be a... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jori Haanpää
3.0 out of 5 stars or somewhere in between
For such a prolific film maker it would be foolish to presume that all his films will meet the same kind of expectations, or necessarily appeal to the same kind of audience, but... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Mr. James Dickson
2.0 out of 5 stars more dead than alive
first of all i will say that yes the opening scene grabbed my attention and i thought this is going to be good. Read more
Published on 31 July 2009 by misty rivers
5.0 out of 5 stars A future classic
from the same guy who did the gruelling Audition that makes Misery look like a tea party. Dead or Alive, is a cops-vs-yakuza thriller with the most amazing opener I have ever... Read more
Published on 7 Feb 2008 by Alister King
3.0 out of 5 stars Gratuitous, technically brilliant, yet shallow!!!
"Dead Or Alive" directed by Takashi Miike seems to have these same unhealthy obsessions. Gratuitous and shocking "Dead or Alive" is a shallow work. Read more
Published on 3 May 2006 by nmollo
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointed.
Professional and well made film, half decent opening but long parts in between action sequences. If you like violent shoot em up action films like the killer or hard boiled then... Read more
Published on 9 Mar 2006 by G. J. Evans
4.0 out of 5 stars A quick note
Just a quicky... After reading the reviews on this page, i couldn't wait for the beginning of the film, as it sounded pretty intense. Read more
Published on 14 Jan 2005 by Robert Parker
5.0 out of 5 stars dead or alive
The first five minutes of the film are fast paced and exciting. there is so much going on and it gives you a jolt to see, it makes you watch.
Published on 14 Sep 2003 by Kelly Rickard
4.0 out of 5 stars Struggles to maintain the pace, but still excellent
Takashi Miike’s highly rated gangster film is noted for several things, the best known being the opening scene. Read more
Published on 17 May 2003 by "brasshande"
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