Branded to Kill (1967) | This über-cool Japanese hitman spoof is a deliriously offbeat chinmi
Laconic yakuza Gorô Hanada (Jô Shishido) is the Tokyo underworld’s third-ranked hitman until a bungled hit makes him a marked man, setting him on a bullet-ridden, alcohol soaked journey involving a death-obsessed femme fatale (Anne Mari), a trecherous wife (Mariko Ogawa) and the legendary Number One Killer (Kôji Nanbara).
KONICHIWA SUZUKI FANS!
Shot in cool monochrome with hyper visuals akin to a 1960s Pop Art collage and a jazzy score, the Japanese hitman spoof Branded to Kill (aka Koroshi no rakuin) caused its director Seijun Suzuki to be fired by the studio’s executives, but is now highly recognised as his masterpiece – drawing comparisons with contemporaries Le Samouraï and Point Blank and influencing directors such as John Woo, Jim Jarmusch and Quentin Tarantino. It might not to be for all tastes, but if you fancy something searingly surreal and utterly out-there, then this deliriously offbeat chinmi is just for you.
THE UK RELEASE
The Arrow Video dual-format Blu-ray and DVD edition (out 18 August) features a restored digital transfer and new English subtitles, interviews with both director Seijun Suzuki and star Jo Shishido (both in Japanese), two trailers, plus the 1973 porno re-imagining Trapped in Lust (Aiyoku no wana) by screenwriter Atsushi Yamatoya. The collector’s booklet features illuminating essays on the film and its director by Japanese cinema specialist Jasper Sharp, plus there’s a reversible sleeve featuring some stunning new artwork by Ian MacEwan.
Posted on August 18, 2014, in Asian Cinema, Cult classic, Must-See, World Cinema and tagged Aiyoku no wana, Asian Cinema, Branded to Kill, Cult Japanese Cinema, Japanese cinema, Jasper Sharp, Jô Shishido, Koroshi no rakuin, Seijun Suzuki, Trapped in Lust, World Cinema. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.