The Yakuza Papers

July 2, 2005

Kinji Fukasaku’s series of films known as The Yakuza Papers is largely seen as the veteran filmmaker’s answer to The Godfather (1972). Grouped together, these five films are a towering achievement of visceral B-moviemaking at its finest. The very... 

Graveyard of Honor

May 25, 2005

Instead of resting on his laurels with the hugely successful Battles Without Honors series, Kinji Fukasaku took one of Japan’s biggest movie stars, Tetsuya Watari, and had him play a cruel junkie gangster protagonist. Graveyard of Honor (1975) is based... 

Street Mobster

March 25, 2005

Kinji Fukasaku’s Street Mobster (1972) is a fast-paced, balls-to-the-walls Japanese gangster film shot in glorious anamorphic widescreen that has been beautifully restored by the fine folks at Home Vision Entertainment. Virtually unknown over here (except... 

Battle Royale – Two Disc Special Edition

December 12, 2004

A group of 40-or-so school kids are packed off, against their will, to a remote island with a heavy arsenal of weapons, with the only way off the island is to kill all their mates. You’d be forgiven in thinking that this was the pitch for the next... 

Blackmail Is My Life

December 24, 2002

In the 1960s, Kinji Fukasaku was the Japanese equivalent of Sam Fuller. He cut a violent swath of gangster films that were garish mini-masterpieces of the B-movie variety. Among them was Blackmail Is My Life (1968), a scathing, two-fisted attack on corruption...