Killing ★★★

This would-be samurai epic quickly eschews its quest narrative to become something decidedly more intimate. Like many of Tsukamoto’s films, the sound design is productively unpleasant and as in his Fires on the Plains the visuals look muddy at times. As is usual for this uniquely chaotic director, violence is presented here (graphically) as a virus that only leads to more violence… or madness. Tsukamoto is suitably bad-ass in the lead samurai role and the way that the movie plays against initial expectations keeps this feeling somewhat unique within the genre.