Miike Takeshi has always revelled in making extreme and odd films that turn me cold but I think he has been best when he tones down his direction to serve the story rather then his own warped ideas. His first breakout hit Audition did this beautifully slowly reavealing the horror within the tale rather then hammering it into your skull with a nail gun (believe me watch his films and you’ll understand). 13 Assassins builds slowly while we learn about the characters who are recruited and there motivations. the first part of the film plays very much like Seven Samurai, we have a mad sadistic ruler (Lord Naritsugu) who needs to be killed for peace to reign in his country (shogun era Japan) so 13 Samarai are found to kill him. What makes this film stand along the classic samurai films is the end 45 minute sequence where the 13 assassins fight Lord Naritsugus army. It’s mad, visceral, Bloody and relentless. It also contains a stampede of bulls on fire. Check the trailer below.