An ultra-violent commentary on ultra-violence. An ironic bloodbath only possible at the hands of Miike. The notorious director does deserve credit here, as he tried something quite new with this one and has created something relatively unique (though many say pretentious). It had its share of fantastic moments, but as a unified piece it doesn't quite hold up.
At first i didn't like it, then i didn't care for it, then i gave it another chance, and now i love it. Some might argue Miike contradicts himself with his critique of cinematic violence by going over the top with it, but i think that's exactly the point. There's also a bunch of fantastic sequences, so even if you don't quite like the concept, it's hard to hate a movie with vampires, samurais, yakuzas among others.
A sort of fantasia on Japan's obsession with graphic violence and samurai culture; the film tries to critique how the image of violence is manipulated in the service of cynical interests, not least those of the entertainment industry. To me, it's a mess, not least because it wallows in the violence it seems to condemn. But the biggest compliment I can pay is that perhaps only a Syberberg could have got away with it.