¡Qué horror! 2013
AKU NO KYÔTEN
(LESSON OF THE EVIL)
“And the shark, it has teeth,
And it wears them in its face,
And a knife, has Mackie Messer,
Of the knife, one sees no trace”
Based on the novel by Yûsuke Kishi, Takashi Miike’s Aku No Kyôten reunites the director with his Sukiyaki Western Django star, Hideaki Itô, who here, essays the role of the charming, psychopathic high school teacher, Seiji Hasumi.
Centered around and grounded by Itô’s commendable performance, Miike effectively highlights the terror of inexplicable violence and the horror of betrayal by a trusted figure of authority.
His familiar flourishes of violence offset by bizarre notes of odd humour will be found here, and props should also go out to him as well, for excellent usage of “The Ballad of Mack the Knife”/“Die Moritat von Mackie Messer.”
Given that we are treated to a “To Be Continued” by film’s end, I can only hope that Miike returns for the sequel.
As I’ve said before concerning Miike, I may not like all of his films, but there’s always something interesting going on in each of them, and in Aku No Kyôten, he brings his innate Miike-ness to the table, ensuring that the narrative content (basically a psycho who gets his bugf*ck crazy on with his students) is kept involving and occasionally, rather bizarro.
Which is what we really need, if we’re to keep this story going in any possible sequel…
For those unfamiliar with the more ultraviolent entries of Miike’s oeuvre, be advised that Aku No Kyôten becomes a rather difficult watch by the time we hit the third act, particularly in light of the current climate of school violence in countries like the United States.
You have been warned…