Put your hats in your laps, folks. You’ll need them there for puking purposes. Make no mistake, “Kichiku Dai Enkai,” which is translated as “Banquet of the Beasts,” is a powerhouse of disturbing violence and glistening gore. The film serves its purpose, though, but most will be hard pressed to appreciate it.
The story is fairly simple. The leader of a student political group is jailed. His girlfriend, Masami (Sumiko Mikami) takes over the group and things quickly fall apart. Traitors are born, the group members become cop killers, and Masami, who is a little touched to begin with, loses even more of her absentee mind after blowing the head off Yamane (Tomohiro Zaizen). What follows is some intense house cleaning that will have even the most blood-drenched gorehound slowly slinking away with his tail between his legs.
This two-disc DVD collection, which presents the movie in 5.1 sound for authentic torture noises, also packs in some nice extras, such as a making-of featurette and plenty of interviews. It is the main film that will get people’s attention, though. Critics like Michael Medved, if he even has the testicles to see it, will dismiss it as pornography of the worst kind, but it is something far more important. It’s a message movie.
Like “Lord of the Flies” and every other film that explores group dynamics, “Kichiku Dai Enkai” delves into how people can degenerate in extreme situations, and it serves as an interesting advisory against using violence to solve problems. In this film, almost everyone who turns to that solution meets a violent end. This even includes the quiet Fujiwara (Kentaro Ogiso), the group’s ad hoc policeman. He sets the wrongs right and then commits violence against himself in a scene that ranks up there with one of the most emotional suicides put on film.
This movie, which is inspired by actual events, will not please everyone. Regardless, writer/director Kazuyoshi Kumakiri has made an excellent film that really shows how violence can tear any group of people apart … and he does it in the bloodiest way possible. Don’t go in expecting a blood bath, though. Instead, prepare for a flood.