BATTLE ROYALE: Japanese director KINJI FUKASAKU's masterpiece of a movie comes flying in from no where and hits you right in the kisser with a clinched fist! It slaps you across the face and begs you to FUCK with it! His violent vision of a futuristic Japan in which high school children are randomly kidnapped, whisked away to an isolated island, given a variety of weapons, and forced to kill each other in various, wonderfully-creative, blood-splattered, gore-filled ways is just simply, without a doubt, a pleasure to watch. Think of it as the LORD OF THE FLIES survival-of-the-fittest classic meets ICE T's "hunt 'em down" action flick SURVIVING THE GAME. So with that said, I believe very little additional info is actually needed but I'll give ya some more in case that wasn't enough to wet your whistle. First, it's "Go Right For The Jugular" attitude is certainly welcomed in a movie which could ONLY be made in an overseas market for the simple fact of it's content. It's about a classroom of high school kids who have been impartially selected for the BR (Battle Royale) Act. What? Why? Well, adults in Japan feel that they have lost control of their children and through this forced contest, their hopes for a respectable future will be restored by the surviving participant. Yup, that's right, participant! Out of 42 classmates, only ONE can walk away at the end or EVERYONE dies. That begs this hallowing question to be answered, "Could you kill your best friend?" by all those playing this "life or death" scenario. The food for thought (and great storytelling) is there all day long! So, I will go on the record and say that this film is quite possibly the COOLEST product to ever hit my DVD player! (down, GENE, down!) And that's saying alot because quite a few really great Oriental films have passed through it. And I can only imagine the joys of seeing this movie on the big screen. But I will admit that I was also saddened and it nearly brought tears to my eyes to see all those beautiful young Japanese girls get murdered when I could most certainly think of a better, more pleasurable way to occupy their time on that island. Aside from that though, it's somewhat "Reality Show" atmosphere is also a nice presence since I'm a big fan of the popular SURVIVOR television series. And what about actor ANDO MASANOBU's super-role as the crazed killer, Kiriyama?! Not to mention, actress KOU SHIBASAKI as the pure sadistic, evil psychotic goddess, Mitsuko. Yow! But mark my words, this movie, once it gets some world exposure, will probably spawn a plethora of wanna-be's and cheap imitations and cause a quite a ruckus when some stupid kid decides to go into his school and kill one of his classmates and say that he did it because he saw it in this movie. The media will most certainly have a field day with it then, and, of course, this will drive up the demand to see it and the whole mess will probably start all over again. But I confess... I loved it! I really did! If a DVD could wear out from multiple viewings, then my import DVD must be on the brink of destruction. This was a REAL TREASURE that came at the most perfect time and reconfirmed my heart-aching affection for those movies that try to go "too far". And I do believe that this was the film that finally pushed me to seek out all those other obscure Asian movies that I'd been hearing so much about and it also inspired me to start writing my own reviews in the hopes of promoting the often under-appreciated Oriental Cinema as well. And DAMN, what a truely wild ride it's been so far! So I must say... "ARRIGATO, KINJI-SAN!"