Yakuza Hunters: Duel in Hell

Just what does it take to be a Yakuza Hunter, exactly? First and most importantly, you need to undergo a strict training regimen at the hands of Cueball-sensei, a man whose personal idea of crossufitu includes bizarre training slogans, shoving people into trashcans and kicking them down hills, his own gigantic disembodied head floating over the proceedings Mufasa-style, and of course no ultimate training workout would be complete without the Trial of Being Shot in the Face:

Second, it helps if you can turn into a fucking tornado by spinning around really fast:

Congratulations, you're now ready to become a bullet-barfing, Yakuza-slapping, katana-wielding death maven cowgirl McFuckMatrix! Hope you're ready to strike terror into the hearts of snappily dressed criminals everywhere by...standing around and looking at the floor like you just forgot what you were going to say for an entire hour? Ah fuck.

Yes, for an action movie, there's really not a whole lot of action in Yakuza Hunters: Duel in Hell. There's not really all that much dueling or hell either, come to think of it. Also, despite having more characters than a Russian novel workshop, there isn't a single person in this movie with even the tiniest shred of substance or personality. The bottom line? Watching YH:DH is about as entertaining as sitting through an Easter Mass being delivered via Speak & Spell, which is especially funny because it wants to be a Tarantino flick so bad it can practically taste Hattori Hanzo's taint.

There are of course the obligatory femme fatale katana battles, constant melodramatic pauses for no reason, painfully incoherent/pointless "homages" to spaghetti westerns, and liberal usage of blood spatter effects so phony they'd make an Enquirer cover blush...but that's about it, really. There are probably worse ways out there to waste an hour, but not enough to make you hate yourself any less for watching this the whole way through.

Highlights:

  • Witch cowboy gun battles in the Wild Not West (~2% of the movie)
  • Japanese guys in really bad suits performing sawed-off shotgun amputation/kicking old ladies to death for some reason
  • People exploding into tornadoes
  • Includes a place called the "Milk Grown Cafe", which thankfully gets burned the fuck down post-haste
  • Random cool black dude with glasses in the Yakuza, aka the least likely thing that has ever happened

You Should Watch This Movie If:

  • You're an agoraphobic gambling addict and could really go for a vicarious trip to the pachinko parlor.
  • You're writing a new direct-to-video sequel to The Three Stooges and you're on the lookout for a fresh new shotgun-based take on the art of two-fingered eye jabbing (whatever you're picturing isn't as ridiculous as what's in the movie)
  • You've got an hour to kill at the bus stop and want to make it seem like 5 hours.

– Garrett "Hydrogen" Neil and Sean "Trillaphon" Neil (@trillaphon)

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