Released earlier this year to wide critical acclaim, Takashi Miike’s take on the samurai flick is a tour de force of swordplay, bloodspurts and tremendous camera work. When a power-hungry lord in feudal Japan starts doling out injustices to his people—removing limbs of servants at will, hunting peasants in his courtyard with a bow and arrow, rape, murder, etc.—an old samurai gathers a group of assassins to end the people’s suffering. Along the way they pick up a feral warrior who uses a giant tree limb to bash people’s heads in, and after he joins their cause, a 30-minute final showdown involving flaming bulls, explosions, and lots of stabbing.

As a director, Miike is infamously known for his extreme depictions of sexually charged violence and stomach-churning scenes in films like Audition and Ichi the Killer. But with 13 Assassins, he pays tribute to fellow Japanese auteurs like Akira Kurosawa, and the results are spectacular.

13 Assassins (2010)
Friday, September 16, and Saturday, September 17
Midnight (both nights)
Pyrtania Theatre
5339 Prytania St., New Orleans
Tickets $8.50