(Jô Shishido, Tatsuya Fuji, Jirô Okazaki, Ryôji Hayama, et al / Blu ray / NR / 2015 / MVD)
Overview: Shishido stars as Kuroda, a mob hitman who turns on his employers after being forced to execute his lover. Joining forces with his similarly wronged brothers, hot-headed Eiji (Tatsuya Fuji, In the Realm of the Senses) and aspiring boxer Saburo (Jirô Okazaki, Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter), the trio escalate their mob retaliation to all-out turf war where no one will stop until one faction emerges victorious.
Blu ray Verdict: 'Massacre Gun,' or to give it its original title, 'Minagoroshi no kenjû,' is a brilliant, if not frazzled-at-times Japanese yakuza crime drama from 1967. As cool as it gets it stars Jô Shishido ('Branded to Kill' and 'Youth of the Beast') and Tatsuya Fuji ('In the Realm of the Senses' and 'Empire of Passion').
It was actually one of the first films directed by Yasuhari Hasebe ('Female Prisoner 701,' 'Scorpion - Grudge Song' and the 'Stray Cat' series) who is considered the creator of the violent pink sub genre. Some pedigree then and not a disappointment, with non-stop action and surely more bullets than I've ever seen (or heard!) being fired in one movie! That said, it must have taken about 20 to 50 bullets per death, so quite obviously lead rationing wasn't an issue back then!
The performances are excellent all round, direction tight and confident with splendidly stylish photography. A low key, quietly understated jazz score helps maintain the atmosphere which makes 'Massacre Gun' a great introduction to the world of Japanese 60's crime movies for those seeking such a thing. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Limited Edition Blu-ray (3000 copies only)
Restored High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation, on Blu-ray for the first time in the world!
Original uncompressed mono PCM audio
Newly translated English subtitles
Brand new interview with star Jo Shishido
Interview with renowned critic and historian Tony Rayns
Original theatrical trailer
Gallery featuring rare promotional images
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ian MacEwan
Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp, newly illustrated by Ian MacEwan and featuring original archive stills
FYI: MVD Entertainment Group have announced the distribution of Arrow Video (UK) in North America with a host of cult titles receiving deluxe treatment in video, audio, supplements and artwork. The 1st Wave launch titles were: 'Day of Anger,' 'Blind Woman's Curse,' and 'Mark of the Devil,' and these 2nd Wave launch titles are: 'Massacre Gun,' 'Blood and Black Lace,' and 'The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll and Miss Osbourne.'