Posts tagged "Naomi Hoshi"

Youth of the Beast (Review)

Youth of the Beast

aka 野獣の青春 aka Yaju no Seishun aka Wild Youth
野獣の青春 Youth of the Beast
1963
Written by Ichiro Ikeda and Tadaki Yamazaki
Based on the novel by Haruhiko Oyabu
Directed by Seijun Suzuki

野獣の青春 Youth of the Beast
A random stranger coming to town to pit two rival groups against each other is a classic story done well in a variety of genres, and with Youth of the Beast we get the story set in the swinging 1960s yakuza beat, with director Seijun Suzuki determined to make the visuals by themselves a grand spectacle. Joe Shishido and his cheeks take their usual place as a Suzuki lead, as Shishido’s Joji Mizuno waltzes in to lead the sides to their collective dooms.

so what makes Youth of the Beast worth watching like similar tales Yojimbo, Red Harvest, Django, A Fistful of Dollars, or even The Warrior and the Sorceress? Aside from the story being well told again, there is the great Seijun Suzuki visuals. Suzuki starts showing off his boredom with the nonstop yakuza films by tossing in a bunch of visual flair. He must have had fun, because his films only seemed to escalate from here. Youth of the Beast opens with a bleak black and white scene of solemn police investigating a double suicide, a cop and a woman, the only point of color (and life) being a red flower. This sharply contrasts with the vibrant color and exciting city life full of laughing girls, violent fights at the drop of a hat, and a jazzy soundtrack that immediately follows, as Joji Mizuno beats through some Nomoto yakuza thugs to rob their money and blow it at their club.
野獣の青春 Youth of the Beast
The energetic club is full of life, sin, and sound, while the Nomoto yakuza bosses who control it observe though soundproof one way mirrors, giving the mirth a surreal quality. Mizuno’s ease of dispatching the thugs gains the interest of the boss, and after a bit of interrogation and some display of weapons skills, he’s on their team. Then just as quickly, Mizuno is ratting everything out to the boss of the rival Sanko gang. As he’s out for revenge against the groups that ruined his life, breaking them apart piece by piece becomes a fun game.
野獣の青春 Youth of the Beast
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - August 31, 2015 at 7:33 am

Categories: Good, Movie Reviews   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Detective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell Bastards! (Review)

Detective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell Bastards!

aka 探偵事務所23 くたばれ悪党ども aka Tantei Jimusho 23: Kutabare Akutodomo aka Detective Bureau 23: Down with the Wicked
探偵事務所23 くたばれ悪党ども Detective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell Bastards!
1963
Screenplay by Gan Yamazaki (as Iwao Yamazaki)
Based on the novel by Haruhiko Oyabu
Directed by Seijun Suzuki

探偵事務所23 くたばれ悪党ども Detective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell Bastards!
Detective Bureau 2-3 is a light-hearted action film, filled with plenty of comedy bits and trucks full of yakuza running around like video game mobs. This is before Seijun Suzuki went full fever dream, but he does have fun sending up the not very original undercover plot and having plenty of side action and goofs to fill the running time. At times it feels like a Keystone cops vs Keystone yakuza film, as trucks full of gang members armed with random blunt objects drive around in circles chasing after their prey, and dozens of cops run around and try to arrest them all. That’s just flavor for the Joe Shishido being a hero plot, but the trucks full of yakuza (and the musical numbers) are far more memorable than the central story.

The goofiness sort of works against the serious parts, we open with a Pepsi truck ambushing a weapons deal, Sakura and Otsuki gang members are massacred by the armed thugs riding the truck, and some poor Pepsi gets spilled when bottles are shot during the firefight. I guess those bottles won’t be getting the nickel refund! Was there a refund for glass bottles in Japan? The scene seems ridiculous, but the results are fatally real for everyone who is targeted. Only one witness survives, a guy named Manabe (Tamio Kawachi), and he’s suspected of being one of the attackers. The police have him stashed away in their precinct, and outside Sakura and Otsuki gang members wait in their cars, armed with rifles. Don’t worry, they all have the proper permits that say they are going hunting and are just waiting there before they go hunting, which is sort of hilarious. It would be even more hilarious if this wasn’t reality in various open carry states where morons carry AK-47s in public and scare people, and the cops can’t do anything.
探偵事務所23 くたばれ悪党ども Detective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell Bastards!
The police know Manabe is dead if the mob gets him, and they don’t have enough evidence to hold him forever. So Captain Kumagaya (Nobuo Kaneko) has an idea, he calls on noted Detective Hideo Tajima (Joe Shishido). But to keep everything off the books and confusing in case of leaks or bad ends, Detective Hideo Tajima is given a gun and a permit, all under the fake identity of Ichiro Tanaka. He uses his skills to drive Manabe away from the waiting goons and causes enough of a scene (thanks to a timely cement truck blocking the yakuza vehicles) that they escape, and is instantly recruited to join Manabe’s gang.
探偵事務所23 くたばれ悪党ども Detective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell Bastards!
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - August 24, 2015 at 7:32 am

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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