Macabre...ish Horror Review: Battle Royale



Battle Royale is a Japanese movie about a group of kids on a school trip, after having been drugged, they awake to discover they’ve been kidnapped and forced to fight in this year’s Battle Royale. Let’s set the scene...Japan has found itself on the brink of collapse, millions out of work, school violence out of control and rebellious teenagers stage mass boycotts. The government retaliates against the kids with the Battle Royale Survival Program, where each year, a randomly chosen class is abandoned on an island, in a cruel game of survival, where the kids are forced to kill each other under threat of their own death. 


Each child is outfitted with a neck cuff that monitors pulse and movement. It’s waterproof, shock proof, a gps tracker, has a microphone and explosive device also, it’s impossible to remove without dying. The rule is simple...Be the last alive by the end of day 3 and you get to go home.


Points of note:


  • The game last 3 days
  • Each player starts out with a survival kit that includes food, water and a weapon
  • If more than one player still lives when time runs out, everyone dies.
  • There is no escape
  • Every 4 hours their teacher will broadcast updates (deaths in order they died) and reveal which island zones are the danger zones, these zone must be evacuated or your neckcuff will be triggered and explode. 
  • If more than one person lives when times out, all neck cuffs are detonated. Everyone dies.


You won’t have to wait to long for the mayhem to start in this movie. During ‘orientation’ before the BR even begins, there’s one dead adult and 2 kids are injured and 2 more killed. 


This movie is a strange mix of kids being kids with their school crushes and obsessions, hopes and dreams...because they’re kids. And violence and murder where petty grudges, squabbles and fragile friendships will get you killed. This movie is bloody, brutal, graphic, effects are good. Many suicides in this one.


And let me say, this movie is filmed in a visually stunning location. Makes this movie that much worse and more surreal. There are also plenty of flashbacks and dreams in this movie, that add to the story. This is a pretty good story with a decent ending, for as crazy as it is 😅.


This movie was released in 2001. The audio is Japanese and has English subtitles. Run time is 122 minutes. Enjoy Japanese Horror Fans!


Also if you’ve seen it and are a bibliophile as well, there’s a book!




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