InReview InReview

Support independent journalism


Why Don’t You Play in Hell?


Comments Print article

Prolific Japanese filmmaker Sono Sion’s latest offering, Why Don’t You Play in Hell?, initially looks to be about a child TV star and a kidnapping involving conflicting yakuza (Japanese mafia) groups. What ends up on screen is a highly comical slice ’n’ dice samurai bloodfest.

Sion is full of surprises. From his quirky tale of redemption and ninja-style “upskirting” in Love Exposure, to addressing domestic violence in the post-tsunami landscape in Himizu, his films always intrigue. But despite their themes, they are always injected with much humour.

In this film, Sion’s complex array of characters includes a naïve teenage film crew, keen to develop their guerrilla style of filmmaking. Jump forward 10 years, and they are still pathetically trying to live their dream of cinematic success.

An escalating yakuza war sees them employed by one mob to film an ensuing raid. Inevitably, the crew finds itself drawn into the graphically brutal, but largely nonsensical fighting.

While inevitable comparisons will be made with Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill, Sion’s film taps a more slapstick vein. As with his previous films, Why Don’t You Play in Hell? works to a fever pitch.

A blood-spattered slice of Japanese silliness.

Why Don’t You Play in Hell will screen again at the Mercury Cinema on September 20 as part of the OzAsia on Screen film festival.

More OzAsia coverage

Review: Yasukichi Murakami – Through a Distant Lens
Review: Dream of a Ghost Story
What Australia could learn from Confucianism
Review: Red Sorghum

Secret script inspires Tan Dun symphony
Chinese director pushes boundaries (Ibsen in One Take)
OzAsia shines spotlight on Shandong (festival highlights)

Make a comment View comment guidelines

Support local arts journalism

Your support will help us continue the important work of InReview in publishing free professional journalism that celebrates, interrogates and amplifies arts and culture in South Australia.

Donate Here


Show comments Hide comments
Will my comment be published? Read the guidelines.

. You are free to republish the text and graphics contained in this article online and in print, on the condition that you follow our republishing guidelines.

You must attribute the author and note prominently that the article was originally published by InReview.  You must also inlude a link to InReview. Please note that images are not generally included in this creative commons licence as in most cases we are not the copyright owner. However, if the image has an InReview photographer credit or is marked as “supplied”, you are free to republish it with the appropriate credits.

We recommend you set the canonical link of this content to to insure that your SEO is not penalised.

Copied to Clipboard

More InReview stories

Loading next article