Santa Claus: “And what do you want for Christmas this year little boy?”
Santa Claus: “How about a nice football?”
Santa Claus: “Okay, get him out of here.”
Robbie: [Robbie is shoved down the slide, but he stops himself and climbs back up] “No! No! I want to see Asian high school girls wearing skirts and knee socks shooting, slicing, and stabbing each other in a battle royale last person standing blood bath of a film!”
Santa Claus: “You’ll shoot your wad out, kid.” [He presses his boot to Robbie’s face and pushes him back down the slide] “Ho. Ho. Ho.”
One of the more memorable Japanese films of the past decade also happens to be one that has yet to receive any kind of release here in the US. Post-Columbine school shooting fears reportedly prevented a domestic label from picking it up for distribution here, but that lack of official availability hasn’t hurt its reputation. A constantly growing fan base has been importing it on DVD for years, and now thanks to Arrow Video Kinji Fukasaku’s infamous Battle Royale is coming out in the most impressive format and edition yet.
The movie imagines a near future Japan where the country’s youth have become so unruly and undisciplined that the government institutes the BR Act… each year one random high school class will be taken to a secluded island, given a random “weapon” of dubious value, and told the only way to survive the trip is to be the last student standing. Some of the teens immediately turn on each other, others choose suicide, and still others try in desperation to work together to escape their fate. The film is a bloodbath of stabbings, throat slicings, gun shots, and neck bursts… it is awesome. Sure it makes very little sense under even the most minor scrutiny, but that really shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the hell out of this flick.
Arrow Video, purveyor of finely crafted DVD and Blu-ray releases (almost always region free), have just released this limited edition package of Battle Royale. The complete features are listed below, but just know that these folks go all out with their releases from the packaging to the actual disc content. Buy one for you and another for your favorite Asian fetishist.
Here’s the official content/special features list… and note that [LE Exclusive] means that particular goodie is only available in the first 5000 Blu-rays sold:
3 DISC LIMITED EDITION SET FEATURES:
– BRAND NEW RESTORED TRANSFER IN GLORIOUS HIGH DEFINITION 1080P OF BOTH FILMS
– BRAND NEW SUBTITLE TRANSLATION ON BOTH FEATURES
– LIMITED EDITION PACKAGING NUMBERED #/5000 WITH CERTIFICATE
– LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE SPECIAL FEATURES
DISC 1 – THEATRICAL CUT
– ORIGINAL THEATRICAL TRAILER
– THE MAKING OF BATTLE ROYALE: THE EXPERIENCE OF 42 HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
– CONDUCTING BATTLE ROYALE WITH THE WARSAW NATIONAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
DISC 2 – SPECIAL EDITION [DIRECTOR’S CUT]
– SPECIAL EDITION TRAILER
– TV SPOT: TARANTINO VERSION
– SHOOTING THE SPECIAL EDITION
– TAKESHI KITANO INTERVIEW
– THE CORRECT WAY TO MAKE BATTLE ROYALE
– TOKYO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL PRESENTATION
DISC 3 – SPECIAL FEATURES
– OPENING DAY AT MARU NO UCHI TOEI MOVIE THEATRE
– THE SLAUGHTER OF 42 HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
– PREMIERE PRESS CONFERENCE
– THE CORRECT WAY TO FIGHT IN BATTLE ROYALE
– ROYALE REHEARSALS
– MASAMICHI AMANO CONDUCTS BATTLE ROYALE
– SPECIAL EFFECTS COMPARISON
– BEHIND THE SCENES FEATURETTE
– FILMING ON SET
– TV SPOTS, PROMOS AND COMMERCIALS
– KINJI FUKASAKU TRAILER REEL
32 PAGE COMIC
36 PAGE BOOKLET INCLUDING:
– ‘A BATTLE WITHOUT AN END’ BY TOM MES, AUTHOR OF ‘THE MIDNIGHT EYE GUIDE TO NEW JAPANESE FILM’
– PRINTED INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR KINJI FUKASAKU
– ‘TODAY’S LESSON IS… YOU KILL EACH OTHER’ BY JAY MCROY, AUTHOR OF ‘JAPANESE HORROR CINEMA’ [LE EXCLUSIVE]
– EXTRACT FROM KOUSHUN TAKAMI’S ORIGINAL NOVEL [LE EXCLUSIVE]
– ORIGINAL PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL INCLUDING DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT, CAST AND CREW BIOGS
16 PAGE BOOKLET INCLUDING:
– CONCEPT ARTWORK AND DRAWINGS FOR THE LIMITED EDITION SET [LE EXCLUSIVE]
– 5X7” POSTCARDS OF STILLS FROM THE FILM [LE EXCLUSIVE]
– FOLD-OUT REVERSIBLE POSTER OF ORIGINAL ARTWORK
How the Price Index Works:
For our ‘Price Index,’ we’ve devised a four-level scale based on the expense of the items we’re recommending. This is based on our research (mainly on Amazon and other fine retailers). It breaks down like so:
Dirt Cheap: Cost of $25 or less.
Affordable: Cost of no greater than $50.
A Worthy Stretch: Slightly more expensive, but no more expensive than $150.
For the Rich: Gifts for those you really, really love. $150 and greater items only need apply here.