Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. Japan, 1966. Nikkatsu. Screenplay by Kohan Kawauchi. Cinematography by Shigeyoshi Mine. Produced by Tetsuro Nakagawa. Music by Hajime Kaburagi. Production Design by Takeo Kimura. Film Editing by Shinya Inoue.
One of Seijun Suzuki’s most enjoyable films, this colourfully photographed crime drama features a marvelous screenplay and bouncy art direction. After a crime boss decides to go legit, his main henchman is caught between rival gangs in an effort to save lives and keep his boss safe. He sticks to his guns until he comes across the possibility that his superior is willing to give him up in order to save his own neck. Suzuki’s style of film making was so outlaw to Japanese studio bosses that he was often fired from his films, but unlike Branded To Kill, this one’s more daring flourishes add to the experience rather than detract.