Saturday, October 14, 2017

Awesome Horror Streams for Hallowe'en Screams on Roku - DAY 14: Battle Royale (2000) [dir.Kinji Fukasaku]

Greetings, Boils & Ghouls...

... and welcome to 'Day Fourteen' of "Awesome Horror Streams for Hallowe'en Screams on Roku" in which I will suggest my top picks of the fright flicks from the carefully curated catalogue of macabre movies available via the 'Shudder UK' streaming service - any of which can then be streamed to your television using the magic of Roku player - so, let's dim the lights... and prepare for more frights! :-O

If you read my Hallowe'en blogathon preview - FOUND HERE - published on 30th September, then you will know that I plan to post one Hallowe'en / Horror related article every day, throughout the month of October, each featuring one horror movie from the current 'Shudder UK' content library. With recommendations for thirty-one of the best fright flicks I can find, by the end of the month, this means you should have plenty of great choices for your macabre movie viewing as we count down the days to Hallowe'en... as well as ensuring some top-notch cinematic scares come October 31st! ;-)

For my fourteenth instalment in this series of posts I'm going to suggest a feature-length movie from Japan, which was directed by Kinji Fukasaku, and first released in 2000 under the original Japanese title of "Batoru rowaiaru"... although, western audiences will (perhaps) know it better by the alternate English-language variation of "Battle Royale", as was the worldwide English title for this film. Based on a novel by Koushun Takami, and adapted to a screenplay by Kenta Fukasaku, this feature-length thriller tells the story of a group of ninth-grade students from a Japanese high school who have been forced by legislation to compete in a "Battle Royale". To wit, the students are each given a bag with a randomly selected weapon, plus a few rations of food and water, and are sent off to kill each other in a no-holds-barred (with a few minor rules) game to the death, which basically means that the students have three days to kill each other, until one of them survives... or, they all die! :-O

If you haven't seen the film before, here is a brief taster in the shape of an original trailer for this sci-fi adventure thriller, courtesy of a video upload by 'AwesomeFilmTrailers' via their 'YouTube' channel:-

If you'd like to know more... there's a full list of the cast & credits on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) listing for "Battle Royale" (2000), FOUND HERE, which also includes a full storyline / plot summary as well as box office stats, technical specs & much more. For die-hard fans, there's even more tidbits of information to be had from the Wikipedia Page for Kinji Fukasaku's "Battle Royale" (2000) VIA THIS LINK, which may help to fuel your appetite for (yet) another screening. Although, if you're as much of a fan of this film as I am, or have a penchant for foreign language thrillers in general, it probably won't take too much persuading for you to watch this again! ;-)

Ko Shibasaki as 'Mitsuko Sôma' in Battle Royale (2000)

Anyway... you probably guessed already but, if not, this film (like the others from this series of posts) is also available via the 'Shudder' streaming service and can be easily viewed on any Roku device via their dedicated channel (app) for these streaming media players. There are other opportunities for UK Roku users to watch "Battle Royale" (2000), including via subscription to 'Netflix', as well as a cheap rental option courtesy of 'Rakuten TV UK' where you will find it is (currently) only £0.99 to rent this film in 'SD' quality, otherwise it's £2.49 for an 'HD' rental. Of course, if you prefer, there is also the option to rent "Battle Royale" (2000) via 'Amazon Video' in the UK - where it is £1.99 (SD) and only slightly more at £2.49 for an 'HD' rental - although I'd suggest taking a look at some possible free alternatives before you part with any money, because there may well be some free sources available online which offer streaming formats compatible with Roku. However, since my original idea for this month-long blogathon was to suggest thirty-one great Hallowe'en / Horror themed movies from the fang-tastic 'Shudder UK', I'm going to recommend streaming it via their channel - if possible! ;-) :-)

If you haven't already added it to your channel selection, you will find "Shudder" listed among the "Film & TV" channels in the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store. You can easily add it to your Roku player(s) by navigating to the built-in 'Channel Store' (accessed via "Streaming Channels" from the home screen on your Roku device) and scrolling through the options until you see the channel icon (pictured above). It's completely FREE-TO-ADD so, once you've located it in the list of channels, just click the "OK" button on your Roku remote to select it and then click "OK" again where it says 'Add channel' to install it on your Roku player(s). Having done that, it's simply a case of launching the channel via the 'Go to channel' option and navigating the on-screen menu to log-in (if you already have an account, but haven't yet done so) or start your free trial (if you are new to the service) and, once you see 'Shudder TV' playing on the screen, just push the "DOWN" arrow on your Roku remote to get to the main menu... from where you can "Search" for "Battle Royale", then press "OK" on your remote to select and 'Play' this 2000 sci-fi adventure thriller which, for the record, runs to 1h 54mins.


The good news for Roku users in the U.S. is that "Battle Royale" (2000) is also available to stream via the 'Shudder' service in the United States. Additional subscription options for streamers in the USA are available via 'Showtime', as well as 'Netflix' - just as it is in the UK. Meanwhile, the rental options for those in USA come courtesy of 'Fandango Now', plus 'Google Play Movies & TV' where it is (currently) available for USD $1.99 (SD) or USD $2.99 (HD) from either service, for anyone without a subscription to 'Shudder'. Sadly the same cannot, however, be said for Canadian streamers... because, at the time of writing, this sci-fi adventure thriller does not appear to be available to stream on Roku via 'Shudder' in Canada. Fortunately, there is a rental option for Canadians... which comes courtesy of 'Google Play Movies & TV' who are asking CAD $3.99 (SD) or CAD $4.99 (HD) to rent this film. Failing that there might be one or two other streaming resources at your disposal so, as suggested in previous posts from this series, it may be best to check for any possible free alternatives that could be available before you pay to watch this film elsewhere. If you get stuck, message me via Twitter: @ukrokuchannels and I'll see if I can sort you out with a link if need be! ;-)

Meanwhile, for that full cinema experience, here's a few of the other film posters that movie-goers in 2000 (and more recently) would have encountered depending on their location around the world:

Battle Royal (2000) [Japanese Poster]

Battle Royal (2000) [Alternative Poster]

Battle Royal (2000) [Contemporary Poster]

Battle Royal (2000) [USA Poster]

Battle Royal (2000) [English Language Poster - Unknown Origin]

Battle Royal (2000) [Thai Poster]

Battle Royal (2000) [Poster for 3D Release]

Finally, to round-off this fourteenth instalment in my month-long blogathon on 'Day Fourteen' for this edition of the 'Countdown To Halloween', here's more FRIGHTENINGLY FUN FILM FACTS... for example: did you know that many members of the Japanese Parliament tried to get the original novel banned (but, to no avail) and, when the film was released, they attempted to ban that also? The end result was that both efforts led to both the novel and the subsequent film adaptation becoming even more successful, as people bought the book and went to the movie to see what all the fuss was about!

Other interesting tidbits of trivia include the surprising fact that, although this movie is filled with lots of shooting rampages, only two cast members in two scenes were shot using squibs (small fake blood packs to simulate bullet piercing): one was actor Takayo Mimura, who played 'Kayoko Kotohiki', and the other was Takeshi Kitano, who played 'Kitano-sensei'. Also, none of the cast had stunt doubles, not even the lead (Tatsuya Fujiwara) although, they did audition over 800 actors and actresses to play the roles of the students in the film... which also just happens to be a favourite of Quentin Tarantino!


Anyhow, that's all I've got time for today... but do remember to come back again tomorrow, for my next macabre movie recommendation from the 'Shudder UK' streaming library, when I will suggest another film for 'Day Fifteen' of "Awesome Horror Streams for Hallowe'en Screams on Roku" right here on this blog. Meanwhile... please be sure to visit the Countdown To Hallowe'en website & show your support for this annual online Hallowe'en extravaganza PLUS don't forget to use the links you find there and check out all the other 'Cryptkeepers' taking part this year. I know they'll appreciate it, if you visit their blogs and share your thoughts on the contribution(s) they've made.


ONE LAST THING, BEFORE I GO: Don't forget that, aside from the Hallowe'en / Horror-themed ghastliness going on around these parts for the next month, you can also keep up with the UK Roku action (as it happens) by following the companion Twitter Feed: @ukrokuchannels where you will find that up-to-the-minute info on all things Roku-related is posted on a daily basis (well, almost).

Until the next time, then...

That's all folks !!

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