Takeshi Miike takes cinematic homage to its absurd extreme with Sukiyaki Western Django, a tribute to Spaghetti Westerns – and, specifically, Sergio Corbucci’s seminal 1966 Django – that boils the genre down to its base phrases, scenarios and iconography. In this typically gonzo Miike creation, the situation is archetypal (a mysterious cowboy arrives in a desolate town and pits two warring factions against each other), the cast is largely comprised of Japanese actors speaking in stilted, often unintelligible English, and the camerawork is a mixture of Sergio Leone gorgeousness and bonkers hyper-realism. These are elements that don’t so much cohere into some sort of satisfying whole as simply assault the screen with the wild, anything-goes exuberance of a Looney Tunes cartoon, a style that’s deliberately recalled by a few choice sound cues and bits of physical comedy. Given its crazed, reverential remodeling of film history, it’s fitting that Sukiyaki Western Django features Quentin Tarantino in a (surprisingly amusing) cameo. Unlike the Pulp Fiction auteur, however, Miike’s homage is devoid of pretention and teeming with insanity, and though his central joke – Japanese actors struggling to articulate clichés like “hold your horses” and “a day late and a dollar short” – quickly wears thin, the director finds genuine beauty in the bizarre sight of a bloody infant emerging from the unfolding petals of a rose, and delivers visceral thrills in a series of slam-bang skirmishes and a sensuously mournful dance sequence by a woman irrevocably wounded by tragedy. Almost completely unconcerned with narrative, the film thrives on the strength of the director’s out-there impulses and proficiently crazy craftsmanship (such as with a digitized cinematographic zoom of a man leaping out a window onto his horse), making it a tribute not only to the Westerns Miike clearly adores but also to the euphoria of unfettered cinematic creativity.