Why Don’t You Play in Hell

Japan| 2013 | 126mins | Japanese w/ English subtitles
Comedy | Thriller | Action

One Screening Only
Date: Tuesday September 23, 2014
Time: 9:30
The Broadway Theatre
$10 (Admittance restricted to persons over 19 as this will be a licensed event)
Film contains sequences violence, gore, language
Certifications:   Hong Kong:III / Japan:PG12 / New Zealand:R18 / Singapore:R21

Director: Sion Sono
Screenplay: Sion Sono
Cast: Jun Kunimura, Fumi Nikaidô and Shin’ichi Tsutsumi
Producers: Takuyuki Matsuno and Tsuyoshi Suzuki
Company: Films We Like

IMDB Profile

Screens with short film: CONTROLLER

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Things get insanely bloody when an aspiring film troupe known as The Fuck Bombers collide with a yakuza boss who wants to make a movie with his daughter, in the prolific Sion Sono’s (Love Exposure; Suicide Club) latest.

Sion Sono’s twenty-seventh feature is an ode to 35mm film.

Ten years ago, the Kitagawa yakuza clan attacked the Muto yakuza clan at Muto’s own home, only to have Muto’s wife fight back. This unexpectedly left the Kitagawa clan in shambles, with their top hitman Ikegmai wounded and Muto’s wife in prison. Despite the carnage, the most unfortunate fallout from this attack is when Muto’s beloved daughter, Mitsuko, has her adorable toothpaste commercial taken off the air. Now, Ikegami seeks revenge, while Muto only has one desire: to have his wife return from prison to see Mitsuko star in her first movie. Enter The Fuck Bombers, an eager but untalented group of wannabe filmmakers whose dreams of making movies have come crashing down after ten years. Circumstances have brought them to this fateful moment where they’ll be able to film the climactic battle between yakuzas in an epic, over-the-top ending for the ages.

Described by Sono as “an action film about the love of 35mm,” and based on a screenplay he wrote nearly 15 years ago, Why Don’t You Play In Hell? is among Sono’s best work as his trademark excess and outrageousness is infused with an affection for the Japanese films that have come before it. This is Sion Sono at his most endearing and awesome.


  • Won People’s Choice Award Midnight Madness at Toronto International Film Festival 2013
  • Nominated Best Film at Yokohama Film Festival 2013, Venice Film Festival 2013 and Fantasporto 2013
  • plus numerous other awards and accolades


It’s a movie that feels perfectly at home in 2014, but wouldn’t feel out of place in any other decade.” – Minneapolis Star Tribune

“A deliriously gaudy celebration of the decline of everything (including Japanese cinema, film as a medium, and any notion of good taste), it plays like the improbable bastard offspring of Cinema Paradiso (1988) and Kill Bill (2003)”  – Sight and Sound

“A wacky, slapstick parody that’s also a gangster caper and a romantic comedy, it’s like Mel Brooks meets Guy Ritchie, juggling genres like flaming chainsaws.” – FilmDrunk

Programmer’s Opinion

True story. My boss at Twitchfilm saw this film last Fall. He then went on to proclaim that it was the craziest thing he had seen and if another film topped that during the rest of the festival he was at he would eat the shirt he was wearing. Turns out there was another one and true to his word he ate a tasty stew made of that shirt at another festival later that month.

Now. Do not be disappointed that we didn’t book that other film that changed his mind because Japanese cinema’s bastard son, Sono Sion, is at it again. His homage to 35mm action films is an outrageous, blood soaked tale of Yakuza boss Muto who loves his wife and daughter so much that he will break a truce with a rival yakuza gang to make his wife happy and get his girl back into showbiz. He comes across a renegade crew of filmmakers who call themselves the Fuck Bombers, a crew on the verge of calling it quits when Muto comes along. He hires them to make a movie for his daughter Mitsuko. Hilarity and chaos ensue.
I heard tale that the Japanese film industry reported a shortage of squibs, fake blood and fake limbs after Sono wrapped up the climactic battle at the end of his film. The effects were done by Nishimura Yoshihiro and Kazuno Tsuyoshi, two guys who made and worked on Tokyo Gore Police, Machine Girl and Sono’s Cold Fish. Trust us, that this is a good thing! – Andrew Mack