I wasn’t able to give the movie the play that I wanted to on our Night & Day page, but anybody who shares my love of movies that are balls-to-the-wall crazy should check out Sukiyaki Western Django tomorrow night at TCU. The movie was written in English and then cast with a bunch of non-English-speaking Japanese actors who learned their lines phonetically. It makes reference to two real-life warring clans (Genji and Heike) in feudal Japan, but it transplants them to the Old West and has them fight for control of a town in Nevada with the bodies of outlaws hanging from the torii gates. The results are as unreal as you’d expect.
The movie comes from the incredibly fertile mind of Takashi Miike, the Japanese director who averages about five or six movies every year. Quite a few of them are crap, but some of them are incredible viewing experiences, like the harrowingly graphic slasher flick Audition and the joyous, life-affirming musical The Happiness of the Katakuris. (Does any filmmaker in the world have two such dissimilar movies on their resumé?) It’s no wonder Miike cast Quentin Tarantino in Sukiyaki; they’re birds of a feather, filmmakers who like nothing better than to throw all manner of cinematic influences from all over the world into a blender and spin them around just to see what kind of pretty colors they make.
There’s a further appreciation of Sukiyaki Western Django here. The film’s official trailer gives you an idea of the slam-bang action that it serves up, but it really doesn’t clue you into what kind of insanity the movie dishes out, so I’m embedding the following clip. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard a hot androgynous Japanese cowboy say, “You gonna come at me or whistle Dixie?”