BATTLE ROYALE (2000)
Before the Hunger Games based on the YA novels came out, we had the original Hunger Games, Japanese version. BATTLE ROYALE tells the crazy story of a busload of Japanese youngsters, who after all get gassed to sleep while riding a bus, wake up to collars around their neck and told they have to participate in a battle-to-the-death until only one remains. If they don’t? They get a show-and-tell demonstration of what an exploding collar does to help motivate them. They are dropped off on a remote island and it’s explained this is a tradition and ‘pleasure’ to participate. Though this film couldn’t be made today, back when it was released it was nominated for several awards and won a few of them. Crazy mayhem erupts when the game actually starts and we see enough bloodshed to satisfy a few horror slasher purists. Check it out if you want to see a different type of Japanese action-horror flick. And although we get the usual tropes of fighting, they do try to develop a few students along the way to show different personalities and perhaps motivations..so not everyone is just an interchangeable clone of one another. Shows they at least tried to give some variety.
SLASH SCENE: Explaining the rules scene
SLASH SCORE: 4/5