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CRAZY THUNDER ROAD

Japan, 1980 (MIFF 2001, Electric Angels – The Films of Ishii Sogo)

Director: Ishii Sogo

Crazy Thunder Road draws its inspiration from the Speed Tribes, real life gangs of bikers and car nuts constantly at war in Japan's colourful subculturai milieu.

In an unnamed near future Ken, the leader of the Mabiroshi Kamikazes biker gang, is retiring to live the good life with his long-time girlfriend. The world he exists in is reminiscent of Mad Max's devastated landscapes, peopled with ever-present danger and a gallery of eccentric villains. High-octane fuel, grease, sweat and blood are the common currencies. Ken's retirement looks unlikely to go smoothly. His plan for a sedate existence is constantly thwarted by constant battles with yakuza types, fascist outlaws and schemers amongst his own gang. His lot is that of the classic lone gun, constantly in pen! but with the muscle and smarts to deal with every challenge to his reputation and authority.

This early Ishii film sees his signature style developing amidst combat staged with outrageous choreography and an abundance of extreme scenarios. Chainsaws and bazookas are wielded like knives and forks. Armed to the teeth, steely-eyed warriors live and die by a complex code known only to themselves.

"Crazy Thunder Road is the sort of art that doesn't imitate life; it inspires it."— Shock Cinema

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