Tak Sakaguchi’s Yakuza Weapon
Working as a hard-to-kill mercenary in South America, ex-yakuza Shozo Iwaki (Tak Sakaguchi) is informed of the death of his gang boss father, Kenzo (Akaji Maro). Returning home after four years, Shozo discovers that his father's number-one man, Kurawaki (Shingo Tsurumi), has double-crossed and assassinated Kenzo, leaving Shozo not only in charge of what little remains of the Iwaki Family, but also burning with the desire for vengeance. After a titanic battle in which an entire building is levelled, both Shozo and Kurawaki are left barely alive, Shozo missing an arm and a leg. Despite his wounds, the nearly superhuman Shozo clings to life, and wakes up in a mysterious medical facility with an M61 Vulcan cannon in place of his right arm, and a rocket launcher where his left leg used to be! Although confused by his new body and tormented by the pain it brings him, Shozo quickly learns to love his weaponized frame, and makes himself ready for a rematch with Kurawaki, who also has some mechanical improvements of his own...
'Making of' featurette
Takuzo's Weapon (short film)
Toki's Wedding (part 1) featurette
The Tower of Kurawaki
Opening day stage greeting
'Dream Jumbo Talkshow' panel discussion
Deleted and extended scenes
Isolated music track
From Japanese cinema’s action wildboy, Tak Sakaguchi (Versus, Shinobi), Yakuza Weapon is a crazy, over-the-top action epic/gorefest with plenty of entertainment for those who possess a taste for this style of moviemaking. If you enjoyed cult DVD hits like Machine Girl and Tokyo Gore Police, you’ll know what’s in store. Mixing tongue-in-cheek violence and some genuinely innovative, ballsy action (including a single take, multiple-opponent fight scene during which the star broke his neck!) this is worth seeking out.
When I interviewed Tak back in 2011 (read the interview here), I got a strong sense of his no-holds-barred, gutsy approach to filmmaking and his passion for low-budget projects where he calls the shots and few rules apply. The result is a film like this which takes points from the very best action and horror genre films and still holds its own, maintaining a strong identity through Tak’s flamboyant onscreen persona and extension into his role as a filmmaker and action choreographer. In truth, it’s a hugely ambitious way to work and with a serious lack of hardcore action being produced these days, Yakuza Weapon takes it to the extreme opposite – shocking and no doubt offending in the process. But for audiences who crave something as brave, crazy and ‘out there’ as this, check this out.