Starting late -do any film festivals in LA start on time-we entered into a strange horror movie/drama/martial arts film. A strange room, where strong Yakuza men were forced to knit was presented before us. Why we're they knitting, why we're they enduring pain to be good? That's the sense of humor of the movie. Weird, weird and being absurd with no pay-off.
We soon follow Akira Kageyama (Hayato Ichihara) an up-and-coming Yakuza who follows his boss around like a loyal puppy. His boss gets wacked by weirdos and even though missing major organs bites Kageyama turning him into a vampire. Now Kageyama has a taste for blood and when he bites you, you don't just turn into a vampire, but also a Yakuza. Kageyama then must go on a quest for a revenge for his former boss' murder. At the same time, the real Yakuza that betrayed the boss can't handle all the regular townsfolk becoming Yakuza. Vampire Yakuza don't eat regular Yakuza, they taste bad to them. Civilians taste better. Civilians, you can't just have one.
Add to the mix the group behind Kagema's boss' death. One of them is frog suit wearing weirdo, Kuru-Kun. This terrorist, Kuru-Kun gets the most novelty as seeing a man in a frog costume beat the crap out of people with martial art skills is a sight you don't want to look away from. He has a mighty hypno stare to break opponents too. His eye bulge out, blood-shot. The audience and I yelled the most when he came on screen to kick-butt. You'll want to find out whose behind the mask, don't have high expectations.
Hayato Ichihara and much of the cast do a great job, it's just their skills are just so underutilized for this film. I'd like to see any of them again in a pure drama or action film. Yayan Ruhian, a martial arts master is wasted, sure he has a few fight scenes. The end battle he's in is just a waste of his talent.
Yakuza Apocalypse has its dumb moments. It just doesn't have any reason to watch all those dumb moments together as a film. Clips on YouTube, memes online. Suck this film of its funny moments and leave it out to dry. Please don't wear a frog suit for Halloween. Yakuza vampire costumes still acceptable.
Yakuza Apocalypse is out on VOD and in select theaters Oct 9.