'Battle Royale': Japan's 'Hunger Games' arrives on DVD

battle-royale.jpgSuzanne Collins, author of "The Hunger Games", has been accused of lifting her idea for a teen battle to the death in a dystopian future from the 2000 Japanese movie "Battle Royale."

In the film, based on a popular series of manga comics, teens are sent to an island, fitted with explosive collars, given a variety of weapons and ordered to fight until only one remains alive. Sounds familiar, right?

Collins has denied the influence, but Anchor Bay Entertainment isn't missing an opportunity to hook the cult classic to "The Hunger Games'" star. On Wednesday (March 20), the company released the first official U.S. edition in the U.S. In fact, they've bulked the film up into a 4-DVD release that includes theatrical and director's cuts of the movie, the sequel "Battle Royale II" and a bunch of other obscure stuff.

Both "The Hunger Games" (which opens this weekend) and "Battle Royale" are only two in a long tradition of movies about people killing people for sport.

Others in the same vein include the highly watchable "Series 7: The Contenders" (2001), "Tron" (1982), "Tron: Legacy" (2010), "The Running Man" (1987) and -- though they're a stretch -- "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" (1985) and "Highlander" (1986, "There can be only one!")

Photo/Video credit: Anchor Bay
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