Volume 3, Number 11 - March 5, 2013

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Rafael Tur
Rafael Tur
Staff Writer

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Battle Royale-main
Kiddie Killers: The 2000 Japanese flick Battle Royale is a fight-for-your-life thriller. COURTESY OF TOEI COMPANY

Kids Fight For The Ultimate Prize In Battle Royale

By Rafael Tur

Battle Royale is the Japanese counterpart to last year’s The Hunger Games—a movie that soccer moms and columnists were raving was too extreme for children and pre-teens.

The movie, which was released 13 years ago, features about 40 ninth graders forcibly volunteered to a three-day kill fest for the last man standing. The whole event is part of some government law called the Battle Royale Act. Even more twisted, the ring master Kitano (Takeshi Kitano) is a former school teacher.

The Japanese are straight-to-the-gut storytellers with the opening scene of some crazy looking, bloodied little girl smiling and gripping a bloody teddy bear being praised by reporters as the winner of some other Battle Royale. The intro is a twisted insight to the rest of the movie.

Knowing this, you watch Class-B joke and play on the bus unknowing of their destination and the horror bomb about to go off in their faces—literally.

Each of the kids have bomb wired necklaces set to blow up if they try to escape or if they get caught in the random danger zones that trigger automatic detonation.       

If that weren’t bad enough, they’re on an abandoned island

The only way to win your freedom is to be the one and only person alive at the end of the “game.”
BFF’s turn on each other, some take the opportunity to resolve middle-school grudges, some of the students fight and some do not. The idea of kids killing each other is way different when the kids have grown up with each other.

Soccer moms and columnists would definitely cry the end is near with a movie like Battle Royale.

Directed by Kinji Fukasaku—2000—Not rated—Written by Koushun Takami (novel), Kenta Fukasaku(screenplay)—Starring Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Tarô Yamamoto—114 minutes

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