YAKUZA APOCALYPSE: Some Yakuza Gangster Goodness!

With Yakuza Apocalypse coming soon to fill our Midnight Madness screens with guts and glory, the craving for more gangster-goodness is a very real problem for me right now, and it should be for you too, because really, who doesn't like yakuza movies? For everyone else who need a dose of Japanese crime stories, here's some recommended yakuza watches.

Graveyard of Honor (2002) 

Also directed by Yakuza Apocalypse director Takashi Miike, this film is a remake of the 1975 genre classic by Kinji Fukasaku (who is considered to be the godfather of yakuza films). It follows Ishimatsu, a dishwasher who accidentally saves a boss from someone who has been hired to kill him. Afterwards, he sees Ishimatsu as his saviour, and he puts him high in the mob ranks, much to the dismay of the other members. The newfound glory drives Ishimatsu to recklessness and depravity, becoming crueler than he could have ever imagined.

Red Peony Gambler (1968)

My cockles are warmed every time I see a movie with a badass female lead. This eight-part series follows the daughter of a yakuza boss who goes by the name of Oryu. She spends much of her time gambling, but with revenge on her mind, she becomes a swift and dangerous killer, seeking out the men who wronged her father.

Youth of the Beast (1963)

Directed by Seijun Suzuki, this disorienting and colourful staple of 60's Japanese cinema follows an ex-cop who gets involved in the yakuza underworld. He begins to work for the gang that killed his former partner, and the rest of the film delves deep into a psychedelic, dizzying display of seemingly nonsensical imagery.

Rainy Dog (1997) 

Also by Takashi Miike (we just really love him, okay?) and decidedly less bizarre than some of his other work, this film follows an assassin named Yuuji, who has been kicked out of the yakuza and stranded in Taiwan. He takes work from another boss, but when his ex-lover (a prostitute) drops off a son at his doorstep, who begins to follow him around. Yuuji's life grows more and more complicated as he gets involved with the mother of his child.

Fri, Sept 18, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Sat, Sept 19, 3:00 PM SCOTIABANK

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