Master filmmaker Sion Sono (Love Exposure; Cold Fish) describes his frenzied, gleeful new masterpiece as “an action film about the love of 35mm.” Based on a screenplay he wrote nearly fifteen years ago, Why Don’t You Play In Hell? is among Sono’s very best work, as his trademark excess and outrageousness is infused with an affection for the previous century of Japanese cinema. This is Sion Sono with his talent and unique vision completely unleashed.
There’s a war going on, but that won’t stop the inexperienced but eager wannabe film crew The F**k Bombers from following their dreams of making the ultimate action epic. Ten years ago, yakuza mid-boss Ikegami led an assault against rival don Muto.
Now, on the eve of his revenge, all Muto wants to do is complete his masterpiece, a feature film with his daughter in the starring role, before his wife is released from prison. And The F**k Bombers are standing by with the chance of a lifetime: to film a real, live yakuza battle to the death…on 35mm!
Endlessly irreverent and wildly, hilariously visceral, Why Don’t You Play In Hell? is a Tarantino-esque ode to the yakuza films of yore, and features an over-the-top, blood-soaked finale for the ages.
What We Thought:
The excellently titled Why Don’t You Play in Hell? can be summed up as The Yakuza versus a film crew, but that’s like summing up Star Wars as a movie about a boy and his robot.
There is so much more going on here, it’s not even funny. This is a solidly word, over-the-top film that features no small amount of violence and action.
The movie starts off with a number of splintered story lines, but once things come together, that’s when it all kicks into overdrive.
This definitely isn’t a film for everyone, but for people who really enjoy some of the more bizarre and offbeat efforts coming out of Asian filmmaking right now, this might be your new favorite film.
Press Conference with Director Sion Sono
Epic 11×17 fold-out poster by comic artist James Callahan