Branded To Kill

Directed by Seijun Suzuki

Home Vision | October 1, 2002 | DVD

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Chance plays a big role in this movie from Seijun Suzuki, a leader in the yakuza, or gangster, films of Japan. A butterfly distracts a hit man from finishing an important job, causing him to become a target himself in the 1967 action flick Branded to Kill. Our hero, Goro (Jo Shishido), is no pushover who hides in terror from the coming forces. First, he eliminates the first wave with ease, engaging subsequent gunmen in a game of deadly hide-and-seek. The real challenge for Goro, the number three man in his gang, occurs when the number one man comes after him. Suzuki infuses his action flick with comedy, hot sex between Goro and his mistress and healthy parody - black bars covering the sex scenes come to life and do an erotic dance. The effect of all this is inventive and fun, a premonition of the kind of stuff Quentin Tarantino attempts in the 1990s.

Video Release: October 1, 2002

Theatrical Release: 1967

Runtime: 91

Rating: Not Rated

Studio: Home Vision

UPC: 037429136225

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– More About This Product –

Branded To Kill

Directed by Seijun Suzuki

Video Release: October 1, 2002

Theatrical Release: 1967

Runtime: 91

Rating: Not Rated

Studio: Home Vision

UPC: 037429136225


Edition Description
  • Mono
  • B&W
  • Runtime: 91 minutes
  • NTSC (Canada and USA)
  • Originally in Japanese
  • Released in English

Synopsis

In this cinematic masterpiece Seijan Suzuki transcends the B-movie genre. Fired after making it, he was unable to work for ten years. Branded to Kill follows the strange day-to-day existence of an expert hit-man who carries out his orders with steely determination and impassive cool. All hell breaks loose, however, when a butterfly alighting on his rifle scope results in a botched job, and a death sentence for the screw-up. Joe Shishido, with his collagen-enhanced cheekbones, makes a terrific antihero whose unusual quirks (Suzuki reasoned that a man obsessed with the scent of warm rice would signal to audiences that this guy was quintessentially Japanese) instantly endear him to newly-made fans.

Description

A not-quite tongue-in-cheek send-up of Japanese censorship and pat, by-the-numbers "Yakuza" gangster films, this gonzo feature follows a lower-level underworld assassin as he's toyed with and tormented by a higher-up after botching a job. Suzuki's strategically placed animated sequences obscured "offending" material, thwarting censors and delighting fans of the director's black humor.

Notes

DVD Features: Region 1 Encoding Keep Case Interview with Seijun Suzuki
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