Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai DVD cover is crap

December 24, 2011

So I’m back. School is done for another semester and I can actually get down to some reviews. Despite not blogging, I did manage to catch several action films theatrically during my school time, namely Die Hard, Eastern Condors, and Attack the Block!.

But holidays are still busy times, so let’s focus on something that caught my attention. the horrible cover of Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai by Mike Taxi Takashi Miike. Let’s take a peek.

UK Hara-Kiri DVD cover

At first glance, it’s a bit generic but I’m not expecting a Criterion or Masters of Cinema cover here. The lame age warnings on the cover are typical Region 2 DVD stuff that appears on everything from Goodfellas (Gangster violence!) to My Neighbor Totoro (Gangster catbus!). There’s some just some really odd decisions on this cover. Let’s examine the most obvious glaring problems.

Bad Compression DVD Hara-Kiri

Well, this is difficult. For those who have been collecting Asian films on DVD for a while this kind of bad quality is sometimes expected, but why is the sword such nice quality? Is it that hard to find a decent resolution screen capture from this film? or a promo photo? Let alone one that doesn’t have some splatter brush on the sword. Eau de photoshop is what I’d refer to this if I was critiquing work at school.

Photoshop dorkery aside, let’s get what’s wrong with this filmwise. Take a closer look to the bottom of the cover of this package.

Ken Watanabe Harakiri

That’s odd. I don’t recall Ken Watanabe being in this film. In fact, he seems to have kept his clothes from The Last Samurai.

Yep. Surprisingly, this isn’t even the worst offender on the cover. Look who we have in the left corner.

Toshiro Mifune Harakiri 2011

Now we have some serious problems. That’s Toshiro Mifune who starred in several of Akira Kurosawa’s samurai films. He’s dead. Did Takashi Miike use some stock footage of Toshiro and shove him into this film?

Regardless of these problems, I took two seconds and fixed this cover from total humiliation in just two seconds.

Fixed DVD Cover
Eh, no one cares about that Empire quote anyways