“A pivotal project in the development of Miike’s sensibility. For someone on his wild and amazingly dexterous wavelength, this represents nirvana: a hit of pure aesthetic cocaine.”
Released the same year as the iconic AUDITION, DEAD OR ALIVE finds outlaw filmmaker Takashi Miike at his most outlaw-iest. Tough gangster Ryuichi (Riki Takeuchi) and his ethnically Chinese gang make a play to take over the drug trade in Tokyo's Shinjuku district by massacring the competition. But he meets his match in detective Jojima (Show Aikawa), who will do everything to stop them. Beginning with an explosive, six-minute montage featuring hitmen, sex workers, and long lines of coke and ending with a truly planet-shaking climax, DEAD OR ALIVE will fry your synapses from beginning to end.