Even though the cast and crew are making a lark of a movie, Hasebe never lets it collapse under the weight of its own self-awareness. He understands that the best spoof of the campy spy film of the 1960s also has to be a very enjoyable spy film, and Black Tight Killers doesn’t forget to entertain.
Kobayashi couldn’t pull off the “Sun Tribe with a gun” mood of those movies, but he had his own more grown-up version of cool that still appealed to younger viewers. And then everyone started watching James Bond movies.
Hasebe, I’m told, learned his craft from the master of pop-art yakuza madness, Seijun Suzuki, and the influence of Japan’s number one maverick certainly showed in Black Tight Killers. By 1969, however, much of the eye-catching weirdness seems to have left the work of Hasebe, and while Bloody Territories is not a bad film, it’s also nothing special.