Fudoh: The New Generation (1996): Cool Kiddie Crime

Fudoh: The New Generation
Fudoh: The New Generation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Directed by iconic cult favourite Takashi Miike (AuditionIchi the Killer , 13 Assassinsand starring Shôsuke Tanihara (Sky High) and Riki Takeuchi (Riki is well known to most Yakuza film fans, he has been a regular player in most ‘straight to video’ Yakuza tales. He also played the teacher in Batoru rowaiaru II: Chinkonka aka Battle Royale II as well as co-starring in all the Dead or Alive films)

Cover of "Dead or Alive (Unrated Director...
Cover of Dead or Alive (Unrated Director’s Cut)

The ‘Readers Digest’ version of the plot is as follows:

When Riki Fudoh is a young boy, his Yakuza father kills Riki’s brother to escape death himself. It seems that Riki’s dad committed a heinous  crime against another Yakuza crime lord and rather than pay the penalty himself, blames it on his eldest son.

Riki never tells his father that he saw him kill his brother, but as he gets older he becomes the head of a juvenile gang that is comprised of his fellow high school mates.

The gang may be made up of children, but the criminal acts they participate in are very grown-up. Under Fudoh’s tutelage they are carrying out a systematic assassination of several local Yakuza bosses.

Riki Fudoh is ruthless in his pursuit of crime. At the start of the film he kills one of his teachers for failing to pay what he owes. Working as a loan shark is just one of the many ways that Riki increases his power as a kiddie Yakuza.

Riki Fudoh gets help from a giant of a boy who pretty much volunteers to join Riki’s gang. He gives the huge lad a tour of his “training” facilities where very young children train in pairs with guns. One stands and shoots the gun while the other one provides a steadying brace. It is with this wide ranging age group of children that Riki plans to take over the local crime scene and to ultimately take on his father.

Fearing for his life Riki’s dad calls in outside help.

Fudoh: The New Generation is an atypical Takashi Miike film. In film circles he is known as the director who isn’t afraid to show the ‘under-belly’ of Japan. He shows characters on film that other directors would never dream of showing.

Fudoh is no exception. Riki’s two bodyguards are female high school students. At least they both look female. One is actually a hermaphrodite whose speciality is shooting darts from her vagina. The same ‘girl’ also stands up to urinate against a fence post. Such dexterity is to be admired.

Miike is also famous for using gallons of blood in any violent scene where most directors would use a pint. In one scene one of Riki’s body guards dispatches a local crime lord who is in the back of a police car. She serves him a cup of coffee which has been laced with poison. The crime lord begins to spew blood from his mouth. So much blood that it fills the back of the car and comes out in a four foot wave when the door is open. Typical Takashi Miike.

Français : Takashi Miike au 64ème festival de ...

Name dropping, pt 3


I had been on leave back in England visiting with my in-laws. When I returned to work, a friend from AFN had been by the office looking for me. I called him to find out what he wanted. “While you were gone they were auditioning for another film. Give em a call, you might still get an audition.” I thanked him and immediately rang the number.The number was to a production company in Amsterdam. They had indeed been holding “cattle-call” auditions for a feature filmwhile I was on leave. I couldn’t get to Amsterdam quickly enough, so they arranged to come see me at my home. Thus began what is still one of the most surreal experiences that I have had to date.The camera van pulled up in front of my row house in Leusden. The lady who was going to conduct the “audition” which was really more like a filmed interview, brought all the equipment and crew into my house. As they set everything up I felt as though I had somehow fallen into a Twilight Zone episode. While the interview was being conducted my Dutch and Americanneighbours kept walking past my house and glancing curiously in the front window. I cannot stress how unreal this whole situation was. I was being treated almost like a celebrity and it was slightly blowing my mind. Even as I look back today on this interview/audition it feels surreal.While packing up their things the interviewer said that they would be in touch very soon as time for casting the film was running out. As they drove off I said to my wife very matter-of-factly that we would never hear from them again. In this instance, I was wrong. Two weeks to the day they called me. They wanted me to go with the other ‘short listed’ actors to meet the producer of the film.

Excitedly driving to Amsterdam, I managed to not violate the speed laws despite my nervous excitement.  I arrived early and was immediately ushered in to meet the producer. I am ashamed to admit that to this day I cannot remember his name. I do remember he was tall, large and despite being jet-lagged full of good humour.

Cover of "The Company of Wolves (1985) [B...
Cover of The Company of Wolves (1985) [Blu-ray]
He explained that the film was to be directed by the chap who was assistant director on The Company of Wolves. Another name I cannot for the life of me remember. The part I would be playing was going to be in the entire film and I would be one of the last cast members to be killed off. My character was  a “computer geek” who would be shot right between the eyes towards the end of the film.The producer said that as far as he was concerned I had the part. Shooting would begin in a few weeks time in and around Amsterdam. The entire shoot would last for six to eight weeks. He expressed  concerns about my having problems getting time away from the USAFand how they would react to the film’s theme.I need to explain here that the film was a little bit anti-military. The plot had to do with a nuclear shelter and some sort of stress test for the military members inside it. It did not put the military in a positive light. I could have cared less. This was the kind of part I had dreamed of. Not only would my character have been critical to the film, but I got killed!!! Shot right between the eyes yet! I was over the moon.

The producer then said I would have a camera test (he stressed repeatedly that this was not a screen test as I had the part already) with the director in a couple of weeks time. This would coincide with make-up tests and costume fittings. He asked me to leave my phone number with him and I would be told where to go and when.

Three weeks went by with no word. I decided to call the company who had come out for my “audition.” When I finally got through it was to hear the depressing news that funding for the project had fallen through. The green light had gone red.

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