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TIFF Report: Yakuza Apocalypse

Who’s in it: Rirî Furankî, Hayato Ichihara, and The Raid’s Yayan Ruhian

Who’s behind it: Directed by prolific gonzo Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike, written by Yoshitaka Yamaguchi

Who’ll love it: Fans of Miike’s trademark “WTF” filmmaking sensibility will find plenty of that here. Anyone who’s ever wanted to see a life-size Kermit the Frog beat up dozens of gangsters is also in for a tasty treat.

What it’s about: Describing this film’s gleefully incoherent plot in a traditional summarily is pretty much futile, but it does involve yakuza, vampires, volcanoes, an underground knitting circle, a smelly dude with a beak, little kids being grown out of the dirt, an ass-whooping plush frog, and several dozen other equally nutty things.

Why you should see it: You haven’t properly experienced a Takashi Miike film until you’ve seen it with the Midnight Madness audience at TIFF, where the cult director has remained a festival staple since 1996’s Fudoh: The New Generation. Yakuza Apocalypse isn’t Miike’s crowning achievement, but it’s definitely somewhere near the top of his craziest movies list. Audiences demanding narrative coherence should bolt in the other direction, while everyone else should merely turn their brain down a few dials, kick back, and enjoy two hours of exquisitely choreographed martial arts (namely from the likes of The Raid tough guy Yayan Ruhian), beyond-silly humour, geysers of blood, and a plot that gives hard psychedelic drugs a run for its money.

When you can see it: You better see it Friday, September 18 at Midnight Madness, or if you’re feeling less adventurous you can catch it the following day at 3pm at Scotiabank Theatre.

Click here for the trailer (though we suggest seeing it sans trailer), and check out the appropriately trippy Japanese poster below:

Yakuza Apocalypse