With The Hunger Games dominating movie headlines right now, with its premise of kids versus kids in a barbaric free for all of violence and death, you’d be forgiven for considering the film and it’s source material to be an original take on arenas and gladiators, retooled for a more age.
And for the most part, it is, I won’t deny that. But when it comes to pitting kids against one another, like most insane and crazy things in life, Japan did it first.
While The Hunger Games is set in a rather dystopian society that discourages any idea of rebellion with its annual, televised bloodsports between two dozen contestants, Battle Royale takes things in a different direction, stranding an entire class-room of kids on an island, fitting them with explosive collars and leaving them to kill or be killed for three days, until the event ends.
Back when it was released in 2000, the manga comic-sourced Battle Royale was a massive hit in its native Japan, and quickly became a controversial, cult film everywhere else in the film, most likely due to the recent Columbine high school shootings.
While The Hunger Games has a central them of fighting for Revolution at its core, in Battle Royale, things were much more simplistic, with the unlucky school kids fighting for their very survival.
But beyond a few similar ideas, The Hunger Games and Battle Royale are still two remarkably different beasts, but of you’re looking for a grim film to get you started for the April 13 release of The Hunger Games, then give this a view.
Last Updated: April 2, 2012