Director: Kinji Fukasaku. Cast: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Takeshi Kitano, Aki Maeda, Tarô Yamamoto, Chiaki Kuriyama. 114 min. Japan. Action/Thriller.
Reportedly, the inspiration for "The Hunger Games" novels. Under a governmental program, forty 9th-grade classmates are given three days to kill each other in a deserted island, with the last one to stand as the winner. Advantages to The Hunger Games: Faster-paced action, with the games starting right off the bat (took an hour for the latter), and the violence is appropriately gruesome. Disadvantages: The reason for the whole "Battle Royale" program was fuzzy, and the story had many holes (e.g., machine guns firing forever). Still, for the common viewer, proves how many great ideas there are in foreign movies.
PS: Obviously, this was as much an inspiration for Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol. 1 too, as the blood-spraying violence is taken right out of this movie. Tarantino even employed one of its actresses (Chiaki Kuriyama) as the ball-and-chain-hurling schoolgirl for Kill Bill.