Retaliation (1968) | Yasuharu Hasebe’s Japanese gangster thriller is a knockout


In 1968, Japanese director Yasuharu Hasebe teamed up with the inimitable Jô Shishido (Branded to Kill, Youth of the Beast) for a follow up to their 1967 yakuza hit, Massacre Gun.

Retaliation is a tale of gang warfare that features a raft of the period’s most iconic stars, Akira Kobayashi is a yakuza lieutenant who emerges from jail to find his gang dispersed and his aging boss in his sickbed. Shishido is the rival waiting to kill him and a young Meiko Kaji is the girl caught in the crossfire. Gritty and cynical, Retaliation is a hardboiled precursor to Kinji Fukasaku’s revisionist yakuza pictures of the 1970s.


In May 2015 Arrow Films put out the Blu-ray world premiere release of the Japanese thriller (limited to 3000 copies). The special features include new interviews with star Jô Shishido and a retrospective look at the careers of Hasebe and Shishido, plus trailer and gallery, new artwork by Ian MacEwan, and a booklet featuring an article by Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp. If you haven’t added this to your cult film collection, then maybe it’s time.



About Peter Fuller

Peter Fuller is an award-winning print, radio and television journalist and producer, with over 30 years experience covering film and television, with a special interest in world cinema and popular culture. He is a leading expert on the life and career of Vincent Price and actively promotes the actor's legacy through publications, websites and special events.

Posted on May 12, 2016, in Asian Cinema, Must See, Thriller, World Cinema and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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