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