Thursday, June 6, 2013

Takeshi Miike's LESSON OF THE EVIL

Takeshi Miike's LESSON OF THE EVIL, just seen fairly recently, blew me away. In many respects, this is as bonkers and audacious as ICHII THE KILLER, and throws in elements of COLD FISH, BATTLE ROYALE, ELEPHANT, AMERICAN PSYCHO,and VIDEODROME.

Simple set-up sees a teacher saddled with the task of eradicating cheating during exams at a high school. When the task proves an impossible one, he takes drastic measures. To put it lightly.

No synopsis can do justice to LESSON's parade of perversion, blackmail, bullying, bloody violence, and outright insanity.

A couple of reviews have criticized the film's pacing, a charge I don't understand at all. From frame one, Miike creates a creeping, cloying sense of tension as he deftly sketches the lives of both teachers and students, and imbues every scene with a shattering inevitability that is paid off in spades.

In light of recent school shootings and reports of increasing campus violence, the film is so utterly relevant, it will be tough going for many, if not most, viewers

Although there is harsh violence throughout, the climax depicts one of the most merciless rampages I've ever seen, and I've seen plenty. It is not a menu of 'creative killings', a fact one moronic reviewer lamented, but is shocking for its brutal banality, its relentless nihilism, its sickening force. 

Audacious and brilliant, LESSON THE EVIL is simply the best film of the year so far, and, as Miike flicks go, right up there with ICHII THE KILLER, VISITOR Q, GOZU, 13 ASSASSINS, GRAVEYARD OF HONOR, THE MAN IN A WHITE SUIT, and THE CITY OF LOST SOULS.

I fuckin loved it!


  1. I haven't seen this one yet! Sounds great! Great review. I am there!

  2. Classic Jo -- if you're a fan of Miike's more extreme flicks, you shouldn't be disappointed.

  3. Fellow sg fan of miikes and sion sono works here, I thought this mainstream film was a tad disappointing in terms of execution, the killings were not shocking but more of a bore and served little to tell a meaningful tale unlike his previous works.


  4. Anonymous -- I'll have to disagree as I thught the film, though mainstream, was exceptionally twisted, and killings, the massacre excepted, were very creative. The massacre was clearly intended to be repetitive and numbing. The use of 'Mac The Knife' was inspired.