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Deadly outlaw: Rekka

DEADLY OUTLAW: REKKA
DVD region 2. Arrow Video.

Takashi Miike always reminds me of Jess Franco - a wildly prolific maverick who's work is somewhat inconsistent, but even at its worst has eye-catching and fascinating elements. For me, Miike is at his best with his quieter, twisted and disturbing horror stories like Audition and Imprint, rather than his gangster movies, and so I'd place his 2002 film Deadly Outlaw: Rekka amongst his less essential works; your tastes might go the other way. Either way, it's pretty demented stuff.

Deadly Outlaw: RekkaYakuza hitman Kunisada (Riki Takeuchi) heads off on a trail of vengeance when his boss is killed in a gangland hit, against the orders of his superiors, who want to negotiate a truce. Within this simple framework is woven a story of double crosses, explosive violence, frenetic sex and howling prog metal from early 70's act Flower Travellin' Band's album Satori, peopled with the weirdest set of characters you're ever likely to see.

Miike handles the action with aplomb, though the convoluted story is all over the place. The visual thrust of the film just about carries it through, but if you are looking for a tight story, you'll feel disappointed. However, if you want a film filled with loud visuals and loud music - and more than a smattering of delirium - you'll enjoy this.

The DVD comes with a pretty good contemporary interview with Miike and a rather less good 2010 featurette and the now traditional double-sided sleeve and booklet that accompany all of Arrow's newly released exploitation movies.

DAVID FLINT

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BUY IT NOW (USA)

 

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