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“Battle Royale” Finally Gets A North American DVD Release

After a decade long  wait, late director Kinji Fukasaku’s iconic cult hit Battle Royale is finally coming to North America courtesy of the fine folks at Anchor Bay.  According to Nippon Cinema, the distributor has acquired US distribution rights to the popular franchise just in time for the ten year anniversary.

Battle Royale was never picked up for North American distribution because American distributors were too scared to release it too soon after the Columbine massacre. There has been plenty off bootlegs and poorly-subtitled Region 0 releases, but now fans will be able to pick up a nice, packaged and quality release that they deserve.

Fukasaku died very early on in the filming of the 2003 sequel Battle Royale II, leaving his son Kenta to take over. Sadly Battle Royale 2 did not live up to its predecessor.

No word has surfaced as to when the films will hit retail shelves, or if Battle Royale 3D will receive a proper theatrical release in North America. However it will be released in Japan on November 20, 2010. For the rest of us, we can only hope that some of the genre film festivals in North America will be adding it to their program lineup in 2011. I’m looking at you Fantasia and Fantastic Fest.

According to Kenta Fukasaku, having the film shown in America finally fulfills a genuine wish of his father after a 10-year delay, and will hopefully aid the movie in finding a bigger audience.