Coming to DVD from director Yudai Yamaguchi, Sushi Typhoon and Well Go USA Entertainment comes a game like no other with DEAD BALL.
This film tells the story of Jubeh Yakyu (Tak Sakaguchi); a 17 year old considered one of the biggest criminals in Japan. Stemming from a pitching accident with his father and seen by his younger brother Musashi, he’s a teen gone wrong.
Captured by the police and sent to Pterodactyl Juvenile Reformatory he immediately is pushed to his limits. Run by warden Ishihara (Miho Ninagawa), she wants to force Jubeh to once again play baseball for the team. While incarcerated Jubeh learns that Musashi also served time but died mysteriously.
Trying to help him is Shinosuki (Mari Hoshino), a 16 year old who shares a cell with Jubeh. Watching over and giving him advice on surviving the facility, Shinosuki also agrees to help play in exchange for better food and being pardoned for the other players crimes.
The Pterodactyle Gauntlets are put up against the St. Black Dahlia High School team of young women who are not so lady like. They play to kill and one by one the team gets whittled down. It is up to Jubeh to come up with a plan.
What he didn’t count on was Warden Ishihara also had a back up plan and now Jubeh must face fighting someone he hadn’t counted on!
FINAL WORD: Sakaguchi as Jubeh is so Clint Eastwood gone wrong. From his leather-western-cowboy-poncho wearing self to the magical cigarette (no, I’m not saying anything more), Sakaguchi is the straight man of the film. His one liners mixed in with defiance with a splatter (pardon the pun) of the over dramatic is perfect.
Ninagawa as the warden is nothing short of horrific! Not physically although there are moments of facial contortionism that are astonishing but her character itself makes you appreciate Jubeh’s reaction to her.
Hoshino as Shinosuki or Four Eyes is very sweet. Okay, so part of me hoped that she was straight out a girl and that Jubeh would find a good girl to settle down with. Hey, there’s always room for a part 2!
The entire cast is filled with antics, fun, craziness and ‘oh my gawd’ moments. The last time I laughed this hard at a splatter comedy was ALIENS vs. NINJA and now DEADBALL easily falls into that hilarity category.
Other cast include: Ryosei Tayama as Governor Mifune, Mickey Curtis as Mikki, Erina as DizzyBusy, Junichi as Jun’ichi, Akio Iwahara, Takatsugu Iwama, Lina, and Kazuto Nakamura.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give DEADBALL three tubs of popcorn out of five. This is a hilarious comedy with so many things mixed in its hard to keep up. This film definitely fits the term splatter comedy as director Yamaguchi is becoming so well known for. Another of his films is the 2003 film BATTLEFIELD BASEBALL
It is obvious that Yamaguchi has a love for all things strange, twisted, funny with tons of blood, chopping, smacking and blowing up with sports as the cherry on top. I can’t even imagine the cast keeping themselves focused because I’d be laughing. There is a campy storyline, cool effects, baseball vs. westerns, cavity searches, side jokes, drama and robots. Who could ask for more?
The DVD includes a spinoff short, Making of Deadball, cast interviews and more sushi trailers! Well Go USA Entertainment is a leader in bringing the top Asian Cinema to North America with over 2,000 titles worldwide. For more on what they have to offer go to www.wellgousa.com.
In the end – grab your bat, it’s time to play ball!
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