Next month's The Hunger Games surely won't open with Jennifer Lawrence's head exploding, what with its Twihard demographic. But Suzanne Collins' series owes a tremendous debt to Kinji Fukasaku, who first mashed up Lord of the Flies and The Running Man with the 2000 provocation Battle Royale. The film's sadistic depiction of an island full of juveniles forced to gruesomely eviscerate one another at the whims of totalitarianism was so shocking, it was actually banned in several countries and never released theatrically in the U.S. As unsettling as it is corny, Battle Royale lacks teeth as a cautionary tale. It compensates by sending teeth—and everything else—flying across the screen.
- Showing at: Hollywood Theatre. 9:45 pm Friday-Saturday, Feb. 24-25.
- Best paired with: BridgePort Hop Czar.
- Also showing: The African Queen (Laurelhurst).