Plot: Battlefield Baseball is a combination of several genres, mixing martial arts action with the clichés of the sports film—particularly skewering baseball, one of Japan's most popular high school sports—and the violence and brutality of a horror film. The film's bizarre—sometimes almost incoherent—plot, blood & gore, and unique comedy have given it something of a 'cult' popularity in the West.
It's every high school baseball team's dream to go to the legendary Koshien Stadium Tournament. For the first time in years, Seido High School has a chance to succeed. Most delighted at this prospect is Principal Kocho. However his hopes are dashed, when he reveals that the first game will be played against the infamous Gedo High School, whose sadistic living-dead players have a habit of viciously killing their opponents.
But all is not lost. By chance, Megane, one of the few players of Seido High left alive, discovers that Jubeh, a newly arrived punk student, has the strength, power and a super throw that could match the power of the Gedo High team.
The film was directed by Yudai Yamaguchi (Versus screenwriter) and written by Gataro Man, based on his manga of the same title. It was produced by Ryuhei Kitamura.
Battlefield Baseball is essentially Shaolin Soccer crossed with Shaun of the Dead but more disdainful of narrative continuity than either. It's very funny … for a while; but it wears out its welcome by the one-hour mark and then goes on for another 25 minutes. Make it through that last third, and you'll be rewarded with the film's best joke at the very end. (Andy Klein) (Nuart, Friday midnight)
During various points in the film, a crowd of people appears, usually engaging in spontaneous celebration or watching some event. Among the crowd is schoolgirl dressed in a traditional sailor-fuku, an injured man with a cast on his arm, and a nude man with his crotch covered by a fig leaf. According to the audio commentary included on the DVD release, the nude man is played by director Yudai Yamaguchi.
«Battlefield Baseball is a delirious send up of sports movie clichés and soap opera histrionics (Jubeh breaks into song when explaining the demise of his father). It's a bit raw-edged at times, but the breakneck pacing and irreverent humour mean that Battlefield Baseball is destined to become a cult favourite.»
«BATTLEFIELD BASEBALL is probably a perfect example of what a beer and pretzel movie should be. It’s a good start for director Yudai Yamiguchi and we can probably expect much better and more from him in the near future.»
«Battlefield Baseball is highly entertaining piece of Japanese cinema, that combines both Troma Team's intentional trash mentality and sense of humour into lead characters that could have been visiting from Takashi Miike flick. »
«Easily much better than the previous "greatest movie about baseball in Japan," 1992's Mr. Baseball starring Tom Selleck, Battlefield Baseball succeeds because of the relative dearth of baseball-related antics (as well as the dearth of Tom Selleck) and instead uses the trappings of baseball merely as a way to get across its message that everyone wants to feel loved - even a high school baseball team of homicidal mutants.»
«Overall, this movie is simply a must see. If you can't get enough of those horror/comedy movies, this is the movie for you. If you take the sense of humor and martial arts that was in Versus, you get this movie except without the swords. Anyone who loves to watch J-Horror with a mixture of martial arts and comedy, you definitely don't want to pass this movie up.»
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