Review: Yakuza Weapon – Gokudô heiki (2011)


Directed by: Tak Sakaguchi, Yudai Yamaguchi | 108 minutes | action, science fiction | Actors: Dennis Gunn, Cay Izumi, Shinji Kasahara, Mei Kurokawa, Akaji Maro, Jun Murakami, Yui Murata, Yoshihiro Nishimura, Takashi Nishina, Hiroshi Ohmori, Jyonmyon Pe, Akihiko Sai, Tak Sakaguchi, Kokone Sasaki, Kentarô Shimazu

“Yakuza Weapon” comes from the stable of Sushi Typhoon. Fans of filthy horror films with a high splatter content are probably familiar with this production house. In the past, this Asian club has released genre gems like “Mutant Girls Squad” and “Deadball”. In these crazy films blood was flying all over your ears and your screen was soiled with intestines. Sushi Typhoon deals in low budget productions that must have over the top bloodshed and shocking violence scenes. The newest member of this studio is called “Yakuza Weapon”.

“Yakuza Weapon” – based on the eponymous manga (Japanese comic) by Ken Ishikawa – revolves around Shozo Iwaki (Tak Sakaguchi), the chain-smoking son of the great Yakuza boss Kenzo (Akaji Maro). The antihero works as a mercenary in South America. When he returns to Japan, he learns that his father has been murdered. A personal vendetta against the rival gangster gang results in a hospital stay. Shozo, however, receives special care. After being discharged from hospital, he has gained two special limbs. His fired arm and leg have been replaced by a machine gun and a rocket launcher. For the second time, Shozo decides to avenge his dad’s murder.

Fans of the new generation of splatter horror from Japan will have a blast as “Yakuza Weapon” is another exercise of gory violence. The story doesn’t mean much. The acting is over the top (every sentence is shouted), the action in itself is not bad (although the cameraman cannot keep up) and the special effects are clearly out of date computer (especially the explosions look laughably bad).

“Yakuzo Weapon” is a nice genre film. However, the novelty is really off. So many of these splatter films have been released in a short period of time that the market is now saturating considerably. You have to come from good houses to stand out. In any case, “Yakuza Weapon” doesn’t. The only thing that stands out is that this time an attempt has been made to place more emphasis on the story and character development. That doesn’t really work. The characters are too caricatural and the dull, amateurish acting doesn’t help either. The action scenes and bizarre atmosphere are well taken.

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