Battle Royale


Banned for years in the US, Battle Royale is an epically violent, still-controversial and deeply influential genre masterpiece set in a crazed alternate universe where innocent children are groomed into ultimate killing machines. In the near future, the economy has collapsed, unemployment has soared and juvenile crime has exploded. Fearful of its nation’s youth, the Japanese government passes The BR Law: Each year, a 9th grade class is sent to a remote island where they will be locked into exploding neck collars, given a random weapon, and forced to hunt and kill each other until there is only one survivor remaining. Battle Royale follows one such class as they learn the ultimate life lesson: whether you’re a preppy, a bully, a jock or a nerd, murder is the ultimate social clique equalizer. Overflowing with shocking violence, wild action and pitch black humor, Kinji Fukasaku’s underground cult classic (finally available in the US following its initial 2000 release in Japan) has often been described as A Clockwork Orange for the 21st century, yet this blood-soaked future shock satire of youth gone wild is a true original. Based on the novel by KoushunTakami, Battle Royale stars the great Takeshi “Beat” Kitano (The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi) as the sadistic military official who conducts this carnival of carnage. (Dir. by Kinji Fukasaku, 2000, Japan, in Japanese with subtitles, 122 mins., Not Rated) Digital