"No one is going to save you. That's just Life."
Yeah, we all knew what happens in "Battle Royale" long before we finally got around to seeing it - A Ninth Grade Class of Japanese School Kids find themselves stuck on an island where they are forced to fight each other to death until the last one left alive gets to be the School Girl Assassin in "Kill Bill" or something, I dunno. Yeah, the little chick who played Go Go in "Kill Bill" is in "Battle Royale" but she doesn't come out any better than in "Kill Bill". Spoiler? So what, I saw her in both of those Movies years ago and I still haven't gotten any ass off of her! What could be more of a Spoiler than that? Crap!
"Battle Royale" is one TOUGH Movie. "The Wild Bunch"? Ha! Of course there's gonna be a pile of bloody corpses at the end of a Movie full of Western Outlaws and Mexican Bandits. What did you expect to happen? They were all gonna dress up for the Prom and have The Night Of Their Adolescent Dreams? Boring! Or "Night Of The Livng Dead" - The House is surrounded by Zombies, the black guy and the white guy are at each other's throats, and when the little girl in the Basement dies she's gonna turn into a Zombie - You think the Teenage Kids that get burned to death are gonna be Crowned Bar B Q Prom King And Pulled Pork Prom Queen? Get outta here! But "Battle Royale" - The nicest, sweetest, cutest buncha kids in Movie History running around chopping each other up with axes, blasting each other to pieces with machine guns, and throwing decapitated heads with hand grenades stuffed into the mouths through windows - Who saw that coming?
I just watched "Battle Royale" three times in two days so this article probably won't be as light hearted as those I usually contribute to Acid Logic. It's hard to write nutty comedy bits when you are crying your eyes out and wailing out the names of the adorable babes slaughtered in this heartbreaking Movie. Mitsuko! Yuko! Chigusa! Oh, it's the Phone . . . Hello? Hollywood Sit Com Producer Chuck Lorre? You'll give me a hundred thousand dollars if I Write a "Big Bang Theory" script by the end of the week? Can I Write a script where that cute blonde girl cuts Jim Parson's head off, stuffs a hand grenade into his mouth, and throws it through Johnny Galecki's window? No? Well, you shoulda called me two days ago before I watched this fuckin' Movie again, Dumb Ass!
But there are School Boys in "Battle Royale", too. So I'm sure it's really BIG in England! My Favorite is the Fat Guy who can't attack people with an axe without falling down and then standing up with the axe stuck in his head. It would be funny if . . . Oh, I'm not trying to get a job at CNN - IT'S HILARIOUS!! With all the Deaths in this Movie at least one of them has to be good for a laugh. Otherwise . . . Girl with arrow stuck through her neck - NOT FUNNY! Boy and Girl who commit suicide by hanging - NOT FUNNY! Boy and Girl who commit suicide by jumping off of a cliff - NOT FUNNY! Say, this sounds like the Final Score of that last Ben Stiller Movie. Yeah, there's a lot of violence in "Battle Royale". But show it to your kids anyway. Unless they're Japanese!
I'm not going to get into the individual characters of "Battle Royale" because when I tried before I wound up with fifty seven pages of "She is sooooo CUTE! Gosh! She is CUUUUUTE!!! SOOOOO CUUUUTE!!" I thought I had wasted my time but then an Agent read that stuff and got me a job Writing for "New Girl". Screw you, Chuck Lorre!
And Oh - "The Hunger Games". Everybody says that "The Hunger Games" are a rip off of "Battle Royale". I've never seen "The Hunger Games" so I don't know anything about that. All I can say about "The Hunger Games" is that it has Lenny Kravitz and "Battle Royale" doesn't - "Battle Royale" wins!
"Battle Royale" isn't perfect. But who are you - Brad Pitt?* Like the Comedy Bit with the Teacher at the end. Japanese Comedy Bits always go over our American heads. Too bad that didn't happen with the Japanese Kamikazi Bits during World War Two! That gag cost me the "New Girl" job.
* I picked Brad Pitt for that joke cause he's the Public's idea of Male Perfection. I think the guy who punched Pitt in the face at that Movie Premier is way cooler!
"Battle Royale" means a lot to me, more than I can put into words - So I Wrote an Acid Logic article about it. The Final Scene is The Best - The Survivors are back in Tokyo - "Let's RUN!" And the Japanese symbol for "RUN" appears in white on a black screen and then - THE END. Cause that's the only thing to do, kids - RUN! Baby, this town rips the bones from your back, it's a death trap, it's a suicide rap, we gotta get out while we're young, cause Japs like us, baby, we're in "Battle Royale"! Seriously, kids, they're out is out to kill you - RUN! "No matter how far, run for all you're worth!"
"It's tough when friends die on you. But hang in there!"
KIDS: Read more of Saleeby on Japanese horror movies here!
John Saleeby wrote for The National Lampoon while he was in high school, was a stand up comic in New York, and has contributed to the net humor zines Schmuck.com, Campaign Central, and the legendary American Jerk. He's on medication now so he's probably a little nicer now than he was when you met him earlier. Email - mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org