With Shinjuku Triad Society, perverse, dust-driven director Takashi Miike takes a look at brotherhood – as in both organised crime and genuine blood relations. Pencil-moustachioed copper Tatsuhito Kiriya (Kippei Shiina) is trying to save his younger brother Yoshihito (Shinsuke Izutsu) from the clutches of the nefarious Dragon’s Claw Society, a Chinese crime syndicate composed entirely of human garbage dragged from the filthiest ghetto gutters and clad in Armani suits, whose speciality – amongst drugs and sex, of course – is organ-running. Leader of the pack is longhaired greaser Wing Zhi Ming (Tomorrow Taguchi); his antics include poking out an old lady’s eyeball and, even more disturbing, flashing dirty-old-man style at a rival don.
Mind you, Tatsuhito is no angel, his hard-line police methods making Michael Howard’s new zero tolerance policies look like an SWP picnic! I don’t want to give too much away, but please heed my advice: Next time you’re taken in for police questioning, don’t use the phrase, “I’ll be buggered if I know!” Miike’s penchant for sexual deviancy doesn’t stop there; several boy-on-man blow-jobs later and I knew that if it weren’t for the presence of the gorgeous Eri Yu, I’d never get an erection again. Even when she’s having a real bummer, she’s real hot stuff.
The good bro’/bad bro’ thing has been used in cinema time and time again, so it’s got to be a pretty good movie that can inject something new and exciting into the story. Although this is neither as epileptically fast nor as outrageously violent as, say, Fudoh, when it does kick off, it kicks off. By no means a high octane action flick, nor a balanced, intelligent piece of drama, Shinjuku Triad Society’s real strength lies instead in its filthy menagerie of psychotic characters. Tell me, can you really complain about a character driven movie that makes you feel as if you’ve become lost in the Adults Only tent at Amos Von Spakker’s Curious Retard Side-show? Thought not…
Japan’s most controversial director, notorious for his dauntingly prolific output and willingness to push the boundaries of taste. Miike started working as an assistant director in the late 80s, before moving into making straight-to-video thrillers in 1991. He made his feature debut in 1995 with the violent cop thriller Shinjuku Triad Society, and since then has averaged around seven films year.