Apparently the director of Wolf Creek and the writer of Slither have seen the Kinji Fukasaku classic.
They say there are only seven basic story lines in the world fiction and film, and if that’s true then it’s safe to say that one of them is the old “strangers held captive and forced to kill each other in the hopes that they’ll live to see another day” chestnut. The Hunger Games is one of the best-known, but Japan’s Battle Royale is the best period.
The latest film to fit that mold is The Belko Experiment, and thankfully it looks to be leaning more towards the latter. The Greg McLean-directed, James Gunn-scripted thriller moves the action to a corporate high-rise where an average workday is interrupted in an unusual and very bloody way.
Check out the red-band trailer – and check out this cast – for The Belko Experiment.
Sure it looks derivative, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t also look immensely entertaining. It’s unclear if the workplace setting – an American company on foreign soil to boot – leads to some kind of commentary on capitalism and imperialism or if it’s simply a backdrop for the slaughter, but either way the promise of creative bloodletting and blackly comic antics are enough to get my butt in a seat.
And this cast! John Gallagher Jr., Michael Rooker, and John C. McGinley are individually worth watching a movie for, but put all three together and you have a must-see for fans of fantastic character actors, brutal laughs, and messy violence.
Kinji Fukasaku’s Battle Royale remains the high-point of the sub-genre for several reasons beyond simply having teens participating in the carnage – it features engaging character work, a love story, creative set-pieces, suspenseful kills, a classic score, the great Takeshi Kitano, and more. If this new film can match even a few of those then we’re in for a real treat early next year – and March already includes Free Fire, Kong: Skull Island, Logan, and Ghost in the Shell!
The Belko Experiment opens March 17th, 2017.