Heath's first film UNDER A KALEIDOSCOPE was a small, intimate film about a friendship founded and blossoming under extreme and unusual circumstances; a chamber piece that hung on the performances of its principal cast of two. MONDO YUKUZA, on the other hand, is a stylish sprawling Melbourne-set gangland thriller that immediately has "cult" written all over it.
Substituting the minimalist confines of two bedrooms of KALEIDOSCOPE for a black-and-white, monochrome urban sprawl, MONDO has Kenji Shimada as Ichiri Kataki, a yakuza who travels from Japan to Melbourne with the sole intention of wreaking bloody vengeance on a band Melbourne criminal low-lifes following the murder of his sister, Yuko.
It's a monster leap for Heath, in both it's scope, story and his utilisation of the medium, especially given the pressure following up the success of KALEIDOSCOPE...
...KALEIDOSCOPE had two story arcs, keeping it simple, whereas with MONDO, Heath has a multitude of threads to weave into a complex narrative; bogan gangs, yakuza hitman, mad cults and hookers with hearts, but the sophomore local has woven them in to a tight chronicle, that while taking heavily from others, wears its influences squarely on its crisp, black suit-sleeves.
There's no doubt that Addison has thrown all the good stuff into MONDO. If Seijun Suzuki, Takashi Miike and Tarantino all met at a road-side diner, this is the film they would have gushed over, or perhaps even produced. It is a gritty, stylish, pop-culture- laden and - frankly - grotesquely entertaining popcorn film.
If there's a fault to be had its that the action sequences would benefit with a tighter edit. Just a modicum of trims to smooth it out. And if that's the only gripe with this wildly entertaining passion-project, then I'm okay with that.
Given Addison Heath has become a local movie-making factory, and that the leap from one film to the next has been so huge, I think it's fair to say I'm excited about what he's got for us next.