Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
Japan, 1967. Nikkatsu. Screenplay by Hideichi Nagahara, Nobuo Yamada, based on the novel by Shinji Fujiwara. Cinematography by Shigeyoshi Mine. Produced by Takeo Yanagawa. Music by Harumi Ibe. Production Design by Toshiyuki Matsui. Film Editing by Akira Suzuki.
Sterling example of the kind of action films being produced by Nikkatsu that worked well audience taste and made producers happy (as opposed to the more controversial work by Seijun Suzuki, like Branded To Kill). Jô Shishido is, what else, a contract killer who is hired to take out a mob boss, which he does. When the deceased gangster’s goons come after him and his driver, the two men hit the road, hiding out at a seaside inn and making eyes with the tavern waitress before trying to escape from there. These movies make their money on violence, so you can expect that escapes are never quite fast enough and things always boil down to a lengthy, loud shoot-out. Curious camera angles and stylish black and white photography elevate a curious combination of gangster noir and spaghetti western into something that, while not unforgettable, makes for a satisfying watch.