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N.B. I'm watching this at 56k in the back of a gas station in Peshastin, WA. Visiting my sister for the New Year's; highly impressed that her local cable provider was showing Part Five of BATTLES WITHOUT HONOR OR HUMANITY on the IFC. Klaus Kinski in CRAWLSPACE was also on the bill.

Now watching on the wireless at Wenatchee Airport, where you never have to worry about catching the wrong plane, because there's only one plane ever at a time--four flights a day to Seattle, four flights a day back. I flicked a lighter in the air as soon as I stepped off the iron bird, hoping they would take me for a god.

Hey Uncle Carl...you ever find your way here to Seattle? I've been meaning to do a Portland trip for a while. IFC has been showing all 5 of the Yakuza Papers in Dec.

The Internet/manga cafe looked really cool. I gather the concept is kinda sorta 'rent a den' and you can have some private space to just junk out and read trash the mama-san wouldn't approve of...

I assume it's normally MUCH more crowded, as would be the arcade :)

Now I want to go bowling in Japan.

Except, if you bowl a 300, will it be recognized internationally?

I go to Seattle on occasion to lay flowers at Viretta Park in my best hey hey, my my style, although next time I'm thinking of doing it more like Bunta Sugawara. I also really like Seattle's Asian Art Museum. There's a 13th century statue of a Chan priest there in the moment of enlightenment that changed my whole view of Buddhist art, which I had previously thought of as something flat and static.

Now if Wenatchee Airport can have free Wi-Fi, and Portland's airport likewise, why not Seattle?

P.S. I couldn't help but notice that Bunta's main aniki, Ichioka (he of the cigarette holder and coat draped like a cape) had the same last name as Barefoot Gen. I wonder if it's a distinctive Hiroshima name, or just coincedence.

Some of the filthiest dialouge in film history is spoken by Sonny Chiba in the second "Battles" film. Did they censor those subs on US TV or something?

I only caught the fifth movie on IFC, but there was plenty of what Urian would call "fuckety-fuck-fuck" in the titles. By the way, I was also impressed that they plan to show COFFIN JOE for their "Grindhouse" program. I'm not sure I would have picked GUNSLINGER GIRL as an anime to go on IFC (they're promoting it rather heavily) but perhaps the excessive creepiness of the work appealed.

The chance of me bowling a 300 game are about as possible as Toei smarting up and hiring me to run and revive their North America trainwreck. Possible, but not too damn likely :)

IFC is showing Toei Yakuza movies? and COFFIN JOE?!

I mean, the fuck?

When did IFC turn cool and not artsy fartsy 'nobody would watch this anyway' crap? Or is this just a trendy detour to snuggle up to the big Hollywood money they sniff like stinkfinger with the upcoming release of 'Grindhouse'?

I think I want the 'Battles' films on US DVD. Do I?

BTW, finally got the Sister Streetfighter box set. I love Etsuko even more now...in a safe, Gaijin way of course.

Wasn't Gen's last name Nakaoka? I've dug IFC for a while, now. They've been showing some good Kurosawa flicks on Saturday's. Just saw Rashomon and the Sword of Doom. This week is the Hidden Fortress. I must plead ignorance on Coffin Joe. After doing some research, I'm in. Sounds interesting.

"It's strange, really strange. The Strange World of Coffin Joe."

I think Carl can back me up on this...

Hillsy is quite correct, although I did at least remember correctly that the manga is anti-war. That was kind of a 50-50 thing, though; I almost guessed "pro-war."

Was it a coin flip, Carl?

I forgot to mention...in my searches for Coffin Joe, the phrase "continuity of the blood" kept appearing. That was enough to pique my curiosity.

On a completely unrelated note: I just received some bootleg DVDs (Sorry, Steve-O) starring one of the most prolific actors, Sonny Chiba, in the mail today. Ogon Bat and Bullet Train. Any opinions on these bad boys? I think Sonny and I have a date this weekend. Hope the wife doesn't mind...

Yikes, Pat, you make kabukicho sound like a fun place. There are hundreds of other bowling alleys, game centers, and especially manga kisa outside of that place. Kabukicho is strictly for fuuzoku, not for games.

Yeah, that's because ALL the people who pour into Kabuki-cho every night are strictly going to fuzoku. The folks shown in the bowling alley were all CGI. And it is a fun place, unless of course you are a total fuckhead. But of course, you'd know all about that.

Strictly yours,

Patrick...Patrick...walk it off, man, walk it off. Don't mean nothin' brother. Don't mean nothin'.

Easy for you to say. There's no Steve Harrison攻撃分隊. Yet.

That just rolls off the tongue...

I...don't even know what that means...

But I have my mockers and detractors. People who are convinced I wear a tinfoil beanie and see black helicopters everywhere.

But ya know, that doesn't mean there *aren't* black helicopters....

Life would be so much easier with a henshin belt and a bitchin' motorbike...

His name could be worse. At least it's not "Patrick Macias Booger Squad."

See, a "Patrick Attack Squad" invokes an image of a squad of Patricks going out and "attacking" Japanese pop culture. That's alot of footrubs we'd have to watch......

Errm....that was supposed to followed by a **SHIVER** because it's not a good thing...

Ahhhhh, so.

The 'Patrick Attack Squad' eh? se, I AM an ignorant gaijin to not key in on that instantly. Guess it must be like the 'Superman Revenge Squad' huh? Are they ESPY or Counter-ESPY?

I dunno, I like (and fear) the image of a team of people, dressed like Patrick, wearing masks of his holy face, rampaging about the town...buying up action hero box sets at a frantic pace.

When there are Winspector, Solbrain and Exceedraft sets available I will be further doomed.

"I think I want the 'Battles' films on US DVD. Do I?"

It might be heresy (and I've only seen the first two films), but I liked GRAVEYARD OF HONOR better than BATTLES WITHOUT HONOR AND HUMANITY (well, the first two, anyway...).

BATTLES is good, but GRAVEYARD made a bigger impression on me. Maybe I need to reserve judgement until I see the whole series - ?

Hey Jim,

I'm with you. I like Fukasaku's individual yakuza movies from the seventies more than the big king-sized series. But I guess it was the BATTLES WITHOUT films that made the biggest impact. As for GRAVEYARD, you seen the Miike re-make?

miike's graveyardOH and the man in white are both great films. I had the chance to see both, more or less back to back a few years ago at montreal's fantasia festival. I am far too tired to fully embelish on the shear magnitude of great scenes that Miike pours into each of these features. But i do have one question for Patrick, in "TMIW" did miike use alot of different film stocks and or mixing even DV footage?

anyways; i really enjoy your writing especially your earlier work concerning Col. Baldwin. would be fun to do conceptual illustrations for a short.

"As for GRAVEYARD, you seen the Miike re-make?"

I must confess, Patrick, to only having seen *two* Miike films: DEAD OR ALIVE and GREAT YOKAI WAR. I thought the latter was... okay (I actually thought the kappa-interogated-by-cops short was better than the movie!), but from the former I can definitely see what the fuss is all about. That having been said, I don't think I could handle something like ICHI or VISITOR Q - yikes! I might try AUDITION eventually... maybe...

Not to sound too wussy, but how rough is his GRAVEARD OF HONOR?

BTW, is anybody chomping at the bit for the upcoming R1 LATITUDE ZERO DVD as much as I am? They're talking about getting Linda Haynes to record a commentary for it (!).

Latitude Zero? I had no idea. I still haven't gotten around to picking up Atragon yet.

I wish Lattitude had some giant monsters in it, but I love the gold lame and the supersubs.

There's some rough stuff in Miike's Graveyard for sure, but it all works within the context of the film. I think it's one of the greatest yakuza movies ever made and one his best.

Patrick! How can you forget?! The lion with the vulture's wings sewn on? THEN MADE GIANT?

And the rats! GIANT MUTANT RATS! And the Bat Guys!

LZERO has it all, baby! Flame throwing laser beam gloves!

Man, makes me want to have a dip in the Bath of Immunity just thinking about it. Pity the Mediablasters/Tokyoshock release won't be as fun as the Japanese 3-disc version, but as long as it's the full length 'international' release and not the strangely shorter Japanese Domestic release (and the REALLY bizzare 'cliff notes' shortie, with the changed title!) I can be a happy boy.

Now to wish for 'Green Slime'...

I mean GIANT monsters ala Mechani-Kong. The rats are pretty big, but they can't trash downtown Tokyo. Would be fun to see them try.

"The lion with the vulture's wings sewn on? THEN MADE GIANT?
And the rats! GIANT MUTANT RATS! And the Bat Guys!
LZERO has it all, baby! Flame throwing laser beam gloves!"

He, he - yeah, I'm really looking forward to it. Also, the fact that it was actually *filmed* with everyone speaking English, makes it all the more interesting. AND it's one I've never seen (!).

"Pity the Mediablasters/Tokyoshock release won't be as fun as the Japanese 3-disc version"

I don't know about that. Keep in mind the Japanese R2 is 3 discs 'cause it's got the shorter dubbed Jap version *and* the "cliff-notes shortie", neither of which I give a hang about.

I'm assumming media blasters will port over most of the R2 extras. Plus, as I said above, word is MB is tring to get Linda Haynes to do a commentary, something that's *not* on the R2.

"Now to wish for 'Green Slime'..."

I've heard Warners is prepping GREEN SLIME for a release, so let's hope...!

"I think (GRAVEYARD OF HONOR is) one of the greatest yakuza movies ever made and one (of Miike's) best"

Well, this coming from the guy who wrote "TokyoScope" impels me to check it out!

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