While the film has never had an American release, it seems like Kinji Fukasaku‘s Battle Royale (based on the novel by Koushun Takami) has already been seen by every cinephile who has sought it out (I saw it just a couple of weeks ago at Los Angeles’ own Cinefamily, when it had its first American theatrical run). The film never got an official U.S. release, because its subject matter (kids killing kids!) struck a little too close to home when the film was first made and ready for U.S. distribution (in 2000, post-Columbine). But it has shown at various festivals and has been readily available on bootleg DVD in the twelve years since, though it’s still worth celebrating that the film is finally getting an official home video release in the U.S., thanks to Anchor Bay.

Of course, the timing of the release does coincide quite perfectly with another film based on a book that mines very similar territory. Like Battle Royale, the upcoming The Hunger Games film follows a government-sponsored fight to the death between teens. The comparisons between the two of been made many times, but as our pal Russ Fischer over at /Film notes, author Suzanne Collins “maintains that she had never seen or heard of Battle Royale before writing her books,” something he finds “difficult to believe — it seems like someone whose interests run to the sort of material represented in The Hunger Games would have known Battle Royale — but I suppose it is possible.” I agree with Fischer on this point, but while I think it’s possible that Collins had never heard of Battle Royale before she conceived of her three-book series, I think it’s insane that she’d never think to search something like “kids killing kids, book” or “fight to death, children, movie” while penning them, but hey, however she wants to play it.

Grab your backpack and check out the DVD and Blu-ray trailer for Battle Royale after the break.

Battle Royale will finally hit (official) U.S. home video on March 20, with that wily Hunger Games following close behind, when it opens in theaters on March 23. [Yahoo! Movies, via /Film]

Like this article? Join thousands of your fellow movie lovers who subscribe to The Weekly Edition from Film School Rejects. Our best articles, every week, right in your inbox!
Comment Policy: No hate speech allowed. If you must argue, please debate intelligently. Comments containing selected keywords or outbound links will be put into moderation to help prevent spam. Film School Rejects reserves the right to delete comments and ban anyone who doesn't follow the rules. We also reserve the right to modify any curse words in your comments and make you look like an idiot. Thank You!
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3