He’s probably the most infamous Japanese filmmaker of all time, the man who regularly trades in screen rape, ultraviolence, and mutilation/torture. But he is also undoubtedly very interesting, a man interested in genres — he beat Tarantino to the post-modern Django film, but as consolation, he gave Tarantino a cameo.
His upcoming film, As God Says, is apparently another splatter movie, and it’s based on a comic book. This sort of runs opposite to how I view the Genre Filmmaker coming-of-age — take David Cronenberg for example. Existenz was his last traversal into the world of Cronenbergundian body horror. Ever since, he’s done Cronenbergundian dramas like Spider, Eastern Promises, A Dangerous Method. As good as those movies can be, I’d be lucky to ever see another Scanners, or Rabid (as bad as those two movies were).
Recently, two of Miike’s movies felt like prestige pieces — 13 Assassins and Hara-Kiri, the former being an ultraviolent take on the chambara tradition of having a numbered group of fighters, and the latter a remake of a very good 50s Japanese classic.
But I have to keep in mind that Miike directs two to five movies a year, and the same year he did 13 Assassins there came forth a little number called Zebraman 2. The same year he did an anti-bullying picture he adapted the popular handheld video-game Phoenix Wright.
I may not have a taste for his movies overall, but he’s an extremely intriguing filmmaker, one to watch. I’d be further interested to see if his filmography takes on any sense of direction or theme, consistent with other auteurs.