A film that kicked up a bit of controversy upon it's release to UK shores, was this shocking tale of Japanese youth gone wild and the extreme measures the authorities resort to, to keep them in check.
Set in the not-too-distant future, the Japanese government decides to curb the rising tide of truancy and violent assaults in schools by introducing the “Battle Royale” act. This basically involves selecting one of the more disruptive school classes at random and having the army dump them on a deserted island, where they are forced to fight each other to the death.
The objective of this exercise being that the last man standing gets to go home, and serve as a warning to other disruptive classes. This basically means that for the delinquents of Class B, their end of term school trip is going to be no picnic.
Kitted out with a random weapon and bag of supplies, each child is tagged with electronic collars that monitor their activities, and blows up if they refuse to fight each other. To make things even more interesting, one of the previous years winners has decided to join them, along with some young psychopath who tagged along just for the hell of it.
No sooner are they dumped on the island than the fun begins, as what follows is a brutal shocking battle to the death, as the once friendly classmates are forced to kill each other off in the most gruesome of fashions. Much to the enjoyment of one of their former teachers who has since become part of the Battle Royale selection team.
Based on the novel of the same name, the film is in many ways similar to “The Running Man”, with elements of “A Clockwork Orange”. Brutal, bloody and violent, the film manages to be as thought provoking as it is shocking and should be an essential part of any cult cinema enthusiast’s collection..