Jigoku de naze warui
“We’re in reality, and they’re in the fantastic. Reality is going to lose!”–Ikegami, Why Don’t You Play in Hell?
DIRECTED BY: Sion Sono
FEATURING: Hiroki Hasegawa, Fumi Nikaidou, Jun Kunimura, , , , Tomochika
PLOT: Director Hirata leads a group of anarchic filmmakers who dub themselves “the Fuck Bombers”; he wants to make one great movie in his life, or die trying. Meanwhile, the Muto clan is at war with a rival bunch of yazkuza, and Boss Muto’s daughter, Mitsuko, is starting her career as a child actress with a popular toothpaste commercial. Ten years later these two plotlines collide when, through a string of coincidences, Boss Muto hires Hirata to film his raid on rival Ikegami’s headquarters, in hopes that the footage will be used in a movie that will make Mitsuko a star.
- Shion Sono belonged to an amateur filmmaking group in high school and drew on those experiences for writing the script. (Future director was also a member of the group). The character of Hirata is based on an acquaintance, however, not on Sono himself. (Sono relates that he was cast in the “Bruce Lee” role in their amateur productions).
- Sono wrote the script about fifteen years before it was produced.
- Many viewers incorrectly assume that the yellow tracksuit Tak Sagaguchi wears is a reference to Kill Bill. In fact, both and Sono are referencing Bruce Lee’s costume from Game of Death. Sono was so irritated by the constant misidentification that he included an explicit reference to it in his next feature, Tokyo Tribe (2014). ‘s outfit in
- Why Don’t You Play in Hell? was the winner of this site’s 6th Readers’ Choice poll.
INDELIBLE IMAGE: It’s a close call between the scene of a darling little Mitsuko singing a toothpaste commercial jingle while standing ankle deep in a pool of blood in her living room, or the rainbow-colored jets of blood that stream from yakuza hearts punctured by adult Mitsuko’s katana as she stabs her way through a field of flowers. Take your pick.
THREE WEIRD THINGS: Singing in the blood, vomiting on a prayer, rainbow arterial spray
WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: Up until the final thirty minutes, Hell appears only mildly unusual; the characters and situations are exaggerated, but besides one bloody hallucinatory memory and a broken-bottle French kiss, not too much happens that you couldn’t see in a Japanese version of Get Shorty. When it comes time for the movie-within-a-movie to roll, things change: decapitated heads fly about like bats and stylish machismo flows as freely as blood as logic flees the scene in abject terror.
U.S. release trailer for Why Don’t You Play in Hell?
COMMENTS: Ambitious high-school director Hirata addresses the Continue reading 244. WHY DON’T YOU PLAY IN HELL? (2013)