Dead or Alive

Movies, Thriller
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Handed a tedious script about a turf war in Shinjuku's Kabuki-cho entertainment district (a maverick Chinese gang pulls a robbery which upsets organised crime; a care-worn cop lumbers towards a showdown with the troublemakers), Miike threw away half of it and used the rest as a springboard to amazing inventions. The exposition scenes are boiled down to an entire reel of 'abstract' action - a cataclysmic restaurant ambush, a gay man killed while sodomising a kid, the world's longest line of coke, a homo-erotic knife-throwing act in a girlie bar - while the unrevealable ending is turned into the ultimate blast. In between, Miike offers a series of electrifyingly sad vignettes of death, failure and loss, including what must be the most disturbing stoned murder scene the genre has ever known. A future classic.

By: TR

Release details

Cast and crew

Director: Takashi Miike
Screenwriter: Ichiro Ryu
Cast: Riki Takeuchi
Sho Aikawa
Renji Ishibashi
Hitoshi Ozawa
Susumu Terajima
Ren Osugi