“Yakuza Apocalypse” is a 2015 horror film directed by one of the best and brightest directors Japan has to offer: Takashi Miike. By now most horror fans are familiar with his some of his works such as “Audition”, “13 Assassins” and what I personally consider his magnum opus; “Ichi the Killer”. As you may have guessed, I am a huge Miike fan and get gleefully excited whenever he releases a film! I was beyond thrilled when I found out he had another film in the works named “Yakuza Apocalypse”. His films have gotten tamer over the years, in my humble opinion anyway, but that doesn’t mean they have dropped in quality. I’ve enjoyed every one of his films I have seen. Some more than others, but you get the point. One of the main characters, named Kyoken, is played by a very familiar face in that of Yayan Ruhian. He is instantly recognizable from the memorable part he played in, what some regard as the best action film to date, “The Raid”. As soon as I saw he was going to be a main villain I knew I was going to be in for a real treat especially when it comes to stunts in the movie. The other main star is played by Rirî Furankî. She has been in several films including “The Devil’s Path” and “Like Father, Like Son”. None of which I have seen, but after watching “Yakuza Apocalypse”, I will undoubtedly be checking her other films out. Our main protagonist is played by Hayato Ichihara, who has also starred in “Rainbow Song” and “God’s Puzzle“; the former also being directed by Takashi Miike.
“Yakuza Apocalypse” is one crazy thrill ride. The plot starts centered on Kamiura, a legendary yakuza boss who just so happens to also be a vampire! He is attempting to fight off assassins who have come to kill him. They know his secret that he is a vampire though so this inevitably leads to the downfall of the yakuza boss. He is torn to pieces but, not before he bites onw of his right hand men, Kageyama, and passes on his vampiric abilities. The main chunk of the story revolves around Kageyama fighting his way to the opposing mob boss and defeating him. I never like to spoil things in my reviews, so I won’t reveal the ending but, I will say if you are a Miike fan; the crazy train ride of a final battle will have you on the edge of your seat! Like a majority of Takashi Miike’s products, this film is not to be taken seriously. As in, the action is over the top and reminiscent of his film “Ichi the Killer” at times. This is where Miike’s excellence really shines through though! The plot itself is very straightforward but of course there’s the obligatory love story thrown in, which personally I thought could have been cut out entirely but that is just me. Overall, “Yakuza Apocalypse” is another film to add to the classic Miike collection especially if you are already a fan of his.
In conclusion, if you are not already a fan of Takashi Miike’s films you might walk out of viewing this one thinking it was a mixed bag of tricks that stalled out halfway through and barely chugged along to the finish line, however, you may also find it extravagant. This is Miike made for the Miike fan if that makes sense. If you are a huge fan like me you’ll undoubtedly lose it over this film! Is it his best film ever? No. But, he delivers another epic package yet again and succeeds expectations! Alright, I’ll stop praising this film and let you go watch it for yourself. I give “Yakuza Apocalypse” an 8/10 and highly recommend it to any fan of over the top horror or Miike himself, although, if you’re a fan you’ve already seen it!