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496 Ratings

Why Don't You Play in Hell?

Jigoku de naze warui

Directed by Sion Sono
Japan, 2013
Action, Comedy, Drama


A renegade film crew becomes embroiled with a yakuza clan feud in this wild, perverse and blood-soaked orgy of outrageousness from cult director Sion Sono (Suicide Club).

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Why Don't You Play in Hell? Directed by Sion Sono
The gonzo reality of Sion Sono’s cinematic universe develops unabashed in his 2013 film Why Don’t You Play in Hell? With smatterings of romance, extreme violence and absurdist comedy, a dedicated group of aspiring cinephiles become entangled in the world of the yakuza and set out to make the greatest movie ever made. Partially a thesis on the nature of cinema, Why Don’t You Play in Hell? plays on insecure masculinity and its delirious impulse towards self-destruction.
July 07, 2016
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Sion Sono’s “Why Don’t You Play in Hell?” strives to be madcap with its collision-course pairing of characters: a run-and-gun guerrilla filmmaking squad; yakuza tough guys obsessed with moviemaking; and a ruthless former child actress run amok. But goofball antics and a terrific, raucous finale can’t make up for the essential slackness of its repetitive comedy and punk chest thumping.
November 06, 2014
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It’s hard not to love the pitched combat between shrieking cinephilia and everyday yakuza mundanities. But Sono is not subtle, too often lacking the deft touch needed to make the satire fly; he encourages his actors to scream far too much, and only a few, including Shinishi Tsutsumi as the opposing ganglord in swoony love with the vampy lead actress, bring their own supplies of comic poise and timing. Even so, the film’s blast of self-mocking overkill can be charming.
November 04, 2014
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