From the makers of Versus and Battlefield Baseball comes Yakuza Weapon, the newest release from Japanese genre specialists Sushi Typhoon. A mercenary (genre mainstay Tak Sakaguchi) who bites the ears off of his targets and extinguishes cigarettes in his own open wounds returns home after four years abroad to find his gang overthrown. He sets out to right things with a supernatural-like fighting ability that results in plenty of creative, blood-drenched deaths. His skills eventually let him down, but he’s soon reborn as a government-sponsored, half-cyborg killing machine with a bazooka for a leg. The mercenary’s long road towards revenge is marked by an endless series of over-the-top action sequences that feel climactic in their epicness and feature weapons the likes of which you’ve never seen (or wanted to see).
There’s a sense of legitimacy to Yakuza Weapon that definitely elevates it to the top of the pack as far as these gore-heavy modern Japanese action films go. Characters still fight with boat-sized objects (in one case, an actual boat) and brandish multiple automatic weapons like it’s commonplace, but the film is surprisingly atmospheric at times thanks to some unique set pieces and a driving score. Thus viewers are treated to both a vagina rocket launcher and a Sword of Doom-like sequence filmed behind a series of colorful Japanese screens. Sold.
Yakuza Weapon makes its Philadelphia Premiere this Friday at Midnight at the Prince Music Theater courtesy of the Philadelphia Japan Arts Matsuri.