Dead or Alive (film)

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Dead or Alive
Japanese film poster
Directed byTakashi Miike
Produced by
  • Makoto Okada
  • Katsumi Ono
  • Toshiki Kimura[1][2]
Screenplay byIchiro Ryu
Music byKōji Endō[1]
CinematographyHideo Yamamoto[1]
Edited byYasushi Shimamura[1]
Distributed byDaiei Film[1]
Release date
  • November 27, 1999 (1999-11-27) (Japan)
Running time
105 minutes

Dead or Alive (DEAD OR ALIVE:犯罪者, Deddo oa araibu: Hanzaisha), abbreviated as DOA (Dii ō ei), is a 1999 Japanese yakuza action film directed by Takashi Miike. It stars Riki Takeuchi as the Chinese Triad boss and former yakuza Ryūichi and Show Aikawa as the Japanese cop Detective Jojima and focuses on their meeting and conflict. It is the first in a loosely-connected three-part series, followed by Dead or Alive 2: Birds in 2000 and Dead or Alive: Final in 2002.


Ryūichi and his small gang of triads vie for control of the Japanese underworld in a crime-ridden Shinjuku quarter, while Detective Jojima tries to bring it down. Jojima attempts to start a gang war between the Triad and Yakuza as he deals with his daughter's expensive health problems. Ryūichi and Jojima meet in a chaotic showdown that ends as a magic fireball thrown by Ryūichi and a rocket fired by Jojima cause an explosion that destroys the entire planet Earth.



Dead or Alive was shown at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 1999.[3] The film received a theatrical release in Japan on November 27, 1999.[1]


A review in Sight & Sound found that the film "demonstrates enough flair and grotesque wit to make for very enjoyable viewing." with an ending that "demolishes any vestiges of genre credibility."[4]

Aftermath and influence[edit]

The Dead or Alive films are not connected in any apparent way except by director Takashi Miike and stars Riki Takeuchi and Show Aikawa. In the first film, they play yakuza and cop, respectively. Dead or Alive is notable for Takashi Miike's characteristic scenes of ultra-violence and perversity, which come casually littered throughout.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Mes 2006, p. 391.
  2. ^ a b Rooney, David (March 5, 2000). "Review: 'Dead or Alive'". Variety. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  3. ^ "Line Up". Tokyo International Film Festival. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  4. ^ Walters, Ben (October 2002). "Dead or Alive". Sight & Sound. Vol. 12 no. 10. British Film Institute. p. 64. ISSN 0037-4806.


  • Mes, Tom (2006). Agitator: The Cinema of Takashi Miike. FAB Press. ISBN 1903254418.

External links[edit]