|Batoru rowaiaru (2000)
||[Apr. 5th, 2004|05:30 am]
|[||In the Moment
|||||P.O.D. - School of Hard Knocks||]|
Battle Royale is a pretty good combination of Lord of the Flies and The Most Dangerous Game.
There are only two other films that come to mind that I like in this odd realm of story-telling.
Red Dawn was a film I received as a gift, I am pretty sure from my dad, a long time ago . . . I had it on VHS back in the 1980s. For those not familiar, the Soviet Army invades the United States, and it chooses a remote small town as a drop-point for a large platoon of soldiers.
It's hard to imagine now, but I grew up in the end years of the Cold War. That reality was still very strong, up until the fall of the Berlin Wall and the fall of Communist Russia. Those 1980s were not as tense as the previous decades of the Cold War . . . however, it was still a very present threat.
There are stories that float around, and they have been aired by national TV stations . . . in September of 1983, the Russian radar team thought it had picked up missile launches. They came within seconds of sending their arsenal our way. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed.
Another film that comes to mind from that era is War Games . . . I think that's the title, with Matthew Broderick.
Then there is the film, Surviving the Game. In my humble opinion, it's a favorite of mine. Obviously, Surviving the Game isn't a great film . . . but I appreciated the campy nature of it . . . it was also very similar to The Most Dangerous Game.
The basic premise of Battle Royale starts in narration. The Japanese economy fails miserably. The population, stressed with 15% unemployment, threatened by massive student walk-outs and objections, grows unsteady. Laws are passed to thin out the youth of the nation by the Battle Royale Program.
The program is simple. 'Lucky' classes chosen will be shipped to a deserted island, where the class will have 3 days to compete against each other for survival. By survival, only one person is allowed to survive. If more than one person is alive after three days, everyone in the class dies. What is great about this film . . . the interesting character developments with regard to how the students react. Some become cold murderers, while others refuse to fight. Others band together to try and figure out an alternative.
I didn't really understand a couple of points at the end, so I may have to go back and watch it again . . . however, the disc is Korean, and the English subtitles are really shitty. Still, it is a pretty good film, but it's trumped-up shocking nature is just that . . . trumped-up.
The film received a notorious rap for the violence depicted among the students. Given the Columbine incident, there was a wave of protest against such depictions of violence involving children. I remember that in some of my Stephen King stories that I left back home, I have a short story of his that was taken out of later copies after Columbine. If I'm not mistaken, the King story was called Rage.
Battle Royale is worth a look-see. If you're squeamish at violence, by now, you're probably not taking many of the film suggestions that I post. :D