Tarantino’s Absolute Favorite Film of 17 Years Is a Bloody Japanese Gem with a 90% Tomatometer

This film is a full-fledged predecessor to The Hunger Games.

In 2009, at the request of SkyMovies, Quentin Tarantino named his 20 favorite films released between 1992 and 2009. 1992 was chosen as the starting point because that was the year that Tarantino himself became a film director. Quentin cited a Japanese action film that he said was blatantly ripped off by The Hunger Games as his favorite project of the past 17 years:

“I’m a big fan of the Japanese movie Battle Royale, on which Hunger Games is based. Well, Hunger Games just ripped it off. That would have been great to have directed Battle Royale.”


Long before The Hunger Games, director Kinji Fukasaku captured the frenzy of teenagers stranded on an island trying to survive. Battle Royale is a Japanese film that has become a cult classic over the course of twenty years and spawned a wave of works about deadly games.

What is Battle Royale about?

In the future, an economic crisis will leave 15% of Japan’s population unemployed. Students boycotted schools and riots broke out. To stabilize the situation, the government launches a radical Battle Royale project, in which participation is impossible to refuse.

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Under the pretext of a field trip, 42 students are taken to an island in the middle of the ocean and informed that Battle Royale is about to begin. It’s a survival game in which only one teenager wins. If no champion is identified within 72 hours, the collar everyone is wearing will explode.

All the rules are announced by the teens’ former teacher, Kitano. Every six hours he announces new victims and the number of players remaining in the game. You can ask questions, but you can’t walk away.

Battle Royale started the trend for deadly gaming movies

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Kinji Fukasaku’s film is based on the novel of the same name by Koushun Takami. The Japanese director made more than 60 films during his career; when Battle Royale was released, he was 70 years old. But it was not until the turn of the century that Fukasaku achieved international fame.

And despite the director’s age, he produced an original film at the intersection of science fiction, horror, thriller, action and adventure. Almost no time is wasted on idle talk, and for the sake of victory, knives, machine guns, crossbows and even poison are used.

Here are all the hallmarks of deadly game movies: an island cut off from the outside world, body counting in real time, and drama mixed with violence.

In any case, it is a unique opportunity to watch a kind of two-hour reality show and be emotionally shocked by the sadistic scope of the film.

Sources: SkyMovies (via YouTube), Jimmy Kimmel Live