Movie Haiku

By Ezra Stead

Akira is the greatest animated film of all time. Let’s stray from the beaten path for awhile, shall we? Instead of a review in the usual format, today I’d like to offer up thoughts on over 25 films, mostly some of my favorites, but with a few that I love to hate thrown in for good measure. Only a few of these actually work as reviews; most are free-form poetic interpretations of the feelings they brought up in me. Some are just plain silly. At any rate, all are written in the form of the ancient Japanese art of haiku. For those who don’t know, that means five syllables in the first line, seven in the next, and another five in the last, preferably with some sort of twist in the last line or, failing that, at least a sense of poetry throughout. Almost all of these were written sometime in 2005, which explains why there are three inspired by Frank Miller’s Sin City, my favorite film that year. Let’s begin with a couple of actual Japanese films:


The net is vast and / infinite. Now that we two / have merged, where to go?
Ghost in the Shell (1995)

Tetsuo – not the / Iron Man, but a bike punk / transcends earthly life.
Akira (1988) 

Movie Haiku

From the dawn of time / Man is born of violence / even HAL’s not pure.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Donnie Darko combines disparate genres into a strange and haunting original film. Frank the bunny says / “Why do you wear that stupid / man suit?” Donnie shrugs.
Donnie Darko (2001)

More human than a / human is what we were to / be, like tears in rain.
Blade Runner (1982)

My Valkyrie is / sexy and bloodthirsty; mine / always and never.
Frank Miller’s Sin City (2005)

You think you know truth / but I’ll show you what you are. / Inherit evil.
The Addiction (1995)

Alex and his droogs / beat and rape people to the / tune of Ludwig van.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)

George Lucas gets rich / off the money of geeks who / pay to live the past.
Star Wars Episodes I-III (1999-2005)

“Me love you long time,” / she said. His camera was / stolen, like his soul.
Full Metal Jacket (1987)

I only came to / do two things: kick ass and chew / gum. I’m out of gum.
John Carpenter’s They Live (1988)

Napoleon’s got / skills: dancing, drawing, nun-chucks / plus tether-ball! Sweet!
Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

Tom Edison is / not like his namesake; his sole / invention is lies.
Dogville (2003)

On surveying his / new home, B.J. merely says / “Nice f**kin’ model!”
Beetlejuice (1988)

“What’s a tortoise?” he / asks with mock stupidity. / Don’t ask about Mom.
Blade Runner (1982)

Henry is awkward / to say the least. Suited for / fatherhood he’s not.
Eraserhead (1977)

Sin City is a visually game-changing film from director Robert Rodriguez. An old man dies, a / young girl lives; fair trade. The life / of a decent cop.
Frank Miller’s Sin City (2005)


So damn stupid, you’d / have to be eight to like it / this movie sucks hard.
The Goonies (1985)

Like The Goonies with / vampires and thus, much better. / Corey Feldman rocks!
The Lost Boys (1987)


Glitter-skinned vampires / play baseball in storms and don’t / drink human blood. Lame!

Twilight (2008)

Best film ever, or / worst? You decide. (You suck if / you pick the latter.)
–  The Toxic Avenger (1984)

And it comes clear like / it did the first time: my one / true calling in life.
–  Natural Born Killers (1994)

“Don’t be a …” she says / drawing a square in the air. / Her O.D.’s less cute.
Pulp Fiction (1994)

“You’re so cool.” The last / words he hears as things go black. / Does he live or die?
True Romance (1993)

Norman’s a good boy. / At least, his mother thinks so. / Sure, she’s still alive.
Psycho (1960)

“Rosebud” his last word. / But what does it mean? Nothing / and everything, too.
Citizen Kane (1941)

In space, no one can / hear you scream, but they all do / anyway. Funny.
Alien (1979)

Aliens is one of the greatest sci-fi/action films of all time.They mostly come out / at night. Mostly. Only the / women understand.
Aliens (1986)

Silence now; no air / to breathe. Steely fingers save / me – little Mijo.

Frank Miller’s Sin City (2005)


Kate Winslet is hot / naked on the Titanic. / Leonardo dies.
Titanic (1997)

Ezra Stead is the Head Editor for MoviesIDidn’ Ezra is also a screenwriter, actor, filmmaker, rapper and poet who has been previously published in print and online, as well as writing, directing and acting in numerous short films and two features. A Minneapolis native, Ezra currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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