31 May 2019 | Falconeer
A Mindblowing Masterpiece
"The Beast To Die" (or "Blood of the Beast") is one of the craziest, and most perfectly executed psychological crime films ever made. This movie about a foreign war correspondent gone insane with the horrors of photographing war ravaged corpses in India and Lebanon, has to be seen to be believed. Loner Kunhiko lives in his own world, one in which he controls everything like the maestro standing in front of his own orchestra. Everything in his cave-like, yet futuristic apartment is controlled by one panel of buttons at his fingertips. He is of course obsessed with classical music, which plays a huge part in this breathtaking film. The carnage is absolutely exhausting, as human lives seem to not matter at all to this damaged soul. After terrorizing the city on his own for a while, he picks up a partner, a disgruntled waiter, angry at the world for the way life has treated him. His mind is like clay to be molded and shaped by a superior mind, just like any perfect soldier. The two of them develop a bond and together they stir up an avalanche of terror. Add in the obsessed Police detective, who tries to stop the reign of terror, single-handedly, and you have a blood pumping action film as well.
So many films come to mind when watching "Yaju shisubeshi," such as "Taxi Driver" and "The French Connection." Yes, this movie is from that phenomenal decade where movies were at their darkest, and most nihilistic. "Fight Club" also comes to mind, as most viewers will see definite similarities between the two twisted "buddy movies." The relationship between the partners is very reminiscent of that of Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, the teen shooters who turned Columbine High School into a bloodbath; one is the brains, the other, dimwitted muscle, angry at the world and looking for a purpose to his life.
Like much of Japan Cinema, the attention to detail and flawless perfection in every frame, every musical note, in every scene is always on display here. It is surprising that this evil masterpiece seems to be virtually unknown. This is a big movie, and one that will remain with most anyone who has the good fortune of seeing it.