Japanese cult cinema thread

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HungFist
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Re: Japanese cult cinema thread

Unread post by HungFist » 29 Dec 2017, 16:43


Guro Taku
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Re: Japanese cult cinema thread

Unread post by Guro Taku » 30 Dec 2017, 15:35

HungFist wrote:Toei will release 4 Tai Kato films on DVD 2016/10/05

真田風雲録 (1963)
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Cast: Kinnosuke Yorozuya, Mickey Curtis, Jerry Fujio
IMDb lists various English titles like "Brave Records of the Sanada Clan" and "Sasuke and His Comedians". The film is a very entertaining mix of numerous genres and was obviously made with a big budget. Jidai-geki, musical, fantasy, romance and youth film all figure into its whole. I feel a second viewing where I pause and google/wikipedia all the names for a better understanding of what historical events and/or fairy tales informed its plot is pretty much required. The film opens in the 17th century with a band of orphan kids looting dead soldiers for their belongings, when they encounter a boy with magical powers who calls himself Sasuke and claims he came from a meteor that crashed to Earth. The film then cuts to the same band of friends who are now grown up and still struggling on the fringes of society as outlaws. Eventually they will run into Sasuke again and get tied up in the siege of Osaka...

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Re: Japanese cult cinema thread

Unread post by HungFist » 30 Dec 2017, 17:14

That looks pretty cool. Need to add that to my rental list.

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Re: Japanese cult cinema thread

Unread post by Guro Taku » 25 Mar 2018, 09:53

Arguably one of the few anime titles to deserve inclusion in this thread, Toyoo Ashida's FIST OF THE NORTH STAR 劇場版 世紀末救世主伝説 北斗の拳 (1986) is getting its world premiere on BD from Discotek Media May 29th.

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As expected, this will be the exact same master that Toei prepared for their own DVD release 10 years ago, so the gore will still be partially obscured by pixels and soft focus.

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Re: Japanese cult cinema thread

Unread post by HungFist » 15 May 2018, 07:04

I extracted all the TV and VoD reviews to a new thread: Rare Japanese Cult Cinema reviews (No DVD / BD).

The rationale was that some of you guys might get frustrated with me posting so many Japanese TV / VoD reviews of films that can't be purchased from abroad in the JP Cult thread, and I didn't want that to happen. Hence I created a new thread.

There's no strict rules, though. Discussion of rare films is just fine in both thread. But the idea was that this thread would focus on films that are or might become available for purchase, while reviews of films only available on Japanese TV broadcastings and streams that are next to impossible for anyone outside Japan to access could go in the new thread.

(Classic Japanese Exploitation thread still covers both films available and not available on DVD/BD).

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Re: Japanese cult cinema thread

Unread post by HungFist » 15 May 2018, 08:08

I thought I had posted this already...

True Account of Hishakaku - A Wolf's Honor and Humanity (実録飛車角 狼どもの仁義) (1974)
Interesting although not especially visceral de-romantization of the Theatre of Life saga for the jitsuroku era. Bunta Sugawara portrays "Hishakaku" as a short tempered, violent yakuza and thief who falls in love with prostitute Rie Nakagawa. Tsunehiko Watase and Kyosuke Machida are his pals, Akira Kobayashi an enemy. Mostly unexceptional but entertaining and relatively slick late film by director Shinji Murayama who was more of a 60s filmmaker. It's also one of the few jitsuroku style films set in Taisho and early Showa era as opposed to post WWII. Curiously, this was probably the first and only Theatre of Life film that was indeed a true account to an extent. It is a little known fact that the original novel was based on a real life yakuza called Hikoichi Ishiguro, whose account however was fictionalized and romanticized to no end in the novel and film adaptations. This film goes back to the real Ishiguro, as depicted in the grittier 1974 novel "Okami domo no jingi", rather than the Theatre of Life novel from the 1930s.

The screencaps are from a TV broadcasting but Toei also released this on DVD recently.

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Rie Nakagawa
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Re: Japanese cult cinema thread

Unread post by Guro Taku » 26 May 2018, 12:03

Arrow Video have finally announced a new Toei/Fukasaku release and it's not the much-speculated upon Hokuriku Proxy War or Wolves, Pigs & Men but rather STREET MOBSTER 現代やくざ 人斬り与太 (1972).

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Release date is August 7th.

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Re: Japanese cult cinema thread

Unread post by HungFist » 19 Jun 2018, 14:10

Daredevil Drivers (マッハ'78) (1978)

A minor carsploitation classic with nonexistent artistic achievements partly out-weighted by some of the most insane car stunts ever committed to film. The storyline is about Japanese and American stuntmen competing each other in a tournament in USA where they perform death defying car and crash stunts. What's interesting is that while the story is fictional, the film essentially plays out as a documentary since the stunts are real, often shot in a single take, even showing the real medical personnel pulling the poor driver out of the wreck. Nearly all cast members are stuntmen and it's difficult to believe many of the outcomes could've been scripted. Some of the stunts are impossible to witness without going all "holy shit!" Cinematically the film is amateurish with a ridiculously thin romantic side story (with "Hollywood Star" Linda Stayer who appeared in a total of two films!) and dull sequences documenting a real car museum and race event. Nevertheless, with achievements like "word record car jump" (158 metres) and "359 demolished vehicles" the film found relatively wide international distribution in the early 80, mainly on video, and still manages to astonish in places.

The film is available on a 2017 BD and DVD by Pony Canyon. No subs, but half of the film is in English and there isn't that much talk in the first place. Be careful not to pick up the older (possibly non-remastered and full screen... amazon says 1.33:1) 2006 DVD edition by Jet Link. The caps below are from a Hulu stream.

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Stuntman Chiaki Otomo in his only starruing role (he's Japanese although he looks Western)
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Linda Stayer
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The film was produced by manga writer Ikki Kajiwara (Karate Bullfighter, Bodyguard Kiba) via his own company, btw.
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Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FI8Qb6z0B9I

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