Essentially “The Hunger Games” before there was a “Hunger Games” book series, Kinji Fukasaku’s 2000 film “Battle Royale” is one of those titles you would have heard about and sought out already if you were even the least bit interested in Asian cinema the last 10 years or so. The premise is certainly crazy enough that it’s become a massive cult hit, and for those who have never seen it, the film is making its DVD and Blu-ray debut in the States for the first time on March 20th, 2012 courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment. Besides the 2000 original, Anchor Bay will also be releasing a “Battle Royale: The Complete Collection” 3-disc/4-disc set that will also include 2003’s “Battle Royale II”, directed by Kenta Fukasaku, the son of Kinji Fukasaku. The sequel, er, is not nearly as must-see as the original, and let’s leave it at that.
In the near future, the economy has collapsed, unemployment has soared and juvenile crime has exploded. Fearful of their nation’s youth, the Japanese government passes The BR Law: Each year, a 9th grade class is sent to a remote island where they will be locked into exploding neck collars, given a random weapon, and forced to hunt and kill each other until there is only one survivor left. Chiaki Kuriyama (Kill Bill) and screen legend Takeshi Kitano (Boiling Point, Brother) star in the movie that has been argued, acclaimed and banned around the world. More than a decade later, it remains one of the most savage, shocking and emotionally powerful films of all time. Now experience the complete Director’s Cut of Kinji Fukasaku’s uncompromising masterpiece – nominated for 10 Japanese Academy Awards® – available uncensored and unrated for the first time ever in America.
Here’s the new trailer for the DVD/Blu-ray release. May the odds forever be in your — er, I mean, check it out, kids killing kids!
Special Features in the Anchor Bay discs will include:
- The Making Of BATTLE ROYALE
- BATTLE ROYALE Press Conference
- Instructional Video: Birthday Version
- Audition & Rehearsal Footage
- Special Effects Comparison Featurette
- Tokyo International Film Festival 2000
- Battle Royale Documentary
- Basketball Scene Rehearsals
- Behind-The-Scenes Featurette
- Filming On-Set
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- Special Edition TV Spot
- TV Spot: Tarantino Version
- Director’s Cut with Japanese and English language and English subtitles