A Few Of My Favorite Things: Takashi Miike

A Few Of My Favorite Things is a series that appears most weekends on Driven By Boredom. Each week I talk about three of my favorite things from a specific genre of film, music, or something else all together. Each favorite thing is accompanied by a video and a description of why it is one of my favorite things. Click here for more favorites.

Takashi Miike is probably the most well known and beloved of the Asian Extreme directors. He has directed 75 films in under 20 years including 40 this decade alone. With all that production you have to have some misses and he does. I have seen probably 30 of his films and a lot of his Yakuza films run together a bit. For those not up on Japanese cinema a HUGE percentage of their live action films are based on organized crime. Imagine if they released 100 mobster films in the US. Out of control. The Yakuza is bigger part of Japanese culture than the mob is here, but they still release an insane amount of these films. Some of his biggest successes have been in this genre like Ichi The Killer and Dead Or Alive, but it is his taste for the bizarre that has really made him well known. He became well known in the US after directing the horror film Audition. The film an almost boring romantic film for the first hour and then suddenly breaks your neck with one of the more horrific torture scenes ever put to film. He is one of my favorite directors and if you continue reading I am going to break down my three favorites from the master of the strange. All my favorites are from 2001 a year in which he directed 7 full length films. There is no more fucked up director than Miike. Oh yeah, one other thing, he directs children’s films too… although I can’t imagine what parent in their right mind would let their kid see The Great Yokai War.

1. Ichi The Killer – 2001
Ichi is one of my favorite movies of all time. As soon as I saw a 15 year old boy kick off the face of a guy and have it hit the door and slowly slide down I knew I was hooked on Miike. Honestly I have seen this movie 10 times and still can’t tell you what the fuck is going on. Read these plot summaries, they still don’t make sense. Basically what you need to know is that there is this crazy bastard who has his mouth cut all the way up to his cheeks, but his face is held together by lip rings. That guy goes around torturing himself an others. Then there is this 15 year old kid who is really fucked up in the head sexually and he is afraid of everything but then sometimes he goes crazy and kills dozens of people with blades in his shoes. What you need to do is just watch this movie and hold on to something. Oh man, it is so fucking sweet.

2. Visitor Q – 2001
This was the first Miike film I saw. The movie opens with a guy paying his prostitute daughter for sex while she films him. He then gets hit in the head with a rock. The guy who hits him in the head then moves in with him and fucks with him and his family constantly. While this is going on he decides to film a documentary about his son getting beat up at school. Instead of stopping them he just films it. Also his heroin addict prostitute wife is lactating that and she gets beat up by her son a lot and every body is just having a blast sucking breast milk and getting beat up and holy shit I love this movie. Two words: mind blowing. The movie is so fucked up that the trailer can’t even feature any footage from the movie in it.


3. The Happiness Of The Katakuris
What? A horror comedy musical? A family opens a motel but they can’t make any money cause people keep getting killed there. Also strangely people keep breaking into song. Oh, and there is a claymation bird. And I think the world explodes at the end for no reason what-so-ever. Well, there is probably a reason, but I am slightly too sane to understand what the fuck is going on. I don’t even know why I am bothering to explain these films, you just have to see them to believe them. I don’t know if it is because I am dumb or because I am not Japanese or because the voices in my head are not explaining these to me well enough, but I usually have no idea what is going on when I am watching these movies, but I still love them, and you will too. If the box says Miike, rent it, buy it, steal it, you will not be disappointed, unless of course for some you don’t like scenes of graphic sex, violence and perversions so far beyond anything else you ever seen.

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Comments (3)


  1. George
    October 21st, 2007 | 1:18 pm

    Visitor Q is one of my favorite joints of all time, too. It’s like a litmus test I use on people to see if they can hang. If you can enjoy that movie, then we can definitely be friends.

  2. may
    October 21st, 2007 | 2:29 pm

    survive style +5 has the guy from ichi

  3. October 22nd, 2007 | 1:23 pm

    Have you seen Last Life in the Universe? I just read about it on this Japan blog… Miike collaborated with three other people on this film apparently…

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