Dead or Alive: Hanzaisha (1999, JAP) M C-105m. D: Takashi Miike. Starring Riki Takeuchi, Sho Aikawa, Renji Ishibashi, Hitoshi Ozawa, Shingo Tsurumi, Ren Osugi, Mind-numbing avantgarde action, almost as unbearable as the director's earlier FUDOH (1996). "Story" is about mobster Takeuchi and his nemesis, cop Aikawa, who has problems of his own. Plot is unfocused, pace is a disaster; some stylistic flourishes are forgotten at ridiculous climax. Even cult movie fanatics will find it hard to enjoy this. On-screen title is D.O.A.; somebody should have reminded Miike that this also stands for Dead On Arrival.

© Ron Altman