“If a young boy takes acid and experiences a change, the least a film can do is give him more than acid gives him. But you mustn’t give him the visions that acid gives him; you must give him the pill. And then let each individual see his own visions.”
That’s legendary director Alejandro Jodorowsky discussing his creative process in the novelization of El Topo, the 1970 acid western that put him on the map as one of the world’s foremost avant-garde filmmakers. Goichi “Suda51” Suda has long credited El Topo and its main character’s journey to enlightenment via bloodshed as a major influence on the original No More Heroes, which debuted on Nintendo Wii back in 2007. But inklings of Jodorowsky’s outlook are arguably present in every game Suda touches.
No More Heroes 3 is the latest such trip, directed, designed, and written by Suda alongside his team at Grasshopper Manufacture. The studio’s punk-rock ethos has produced hit after underground hit since its inception in 1998, and now Grasshopper’s finally returned to its most notable series for another adventure through the wild workings of the Southern California-inspired Santa Destroy and its outlying sister cities.