It seems like Japan makes about five zombie movies a week, each one more half-assed than the last. When Italy and the United States lost interest in the zombie film, Japan decided to crank a few out.
Tales from Earthsea fails as a movie on pretty much every level other than background painting. Because I try to be positive, I will say that whatever slave wage artists Goro had drawing the backgrounds, especially in the city scenes, earned their paycheck.
This movie was treading into precarious territory before I even saw it. Hidden Fortress is one of my favorite movies and not one I felt was in any need of being remade. Still, I’m nothing if not fair-minded and bored late at night, so I decided to give this remake a chance.
Eight. Nine. Three. In the Japanese card game known as hana-fuda, it’s the worst hand you can get. Eight, nine, and three — ya, ku, and sa. Japanese organized crime families adopted the name “yakuza” because of this hand. Because you need to be lucky to be a yakuza. Because you’ve drawn the worst hand…
Ito and his boss want Togawa to carry out a robbery that they’ve planned, involving an armored car shipment of racetrack receipts worth 120 million yen, and have hand selected a crew of four men to assist him in the task.
Project Eden is meant to be nothing more than action-packed space adventure. It delivers in spades. The action is plentiful, the comedy mostly succeeds, and the characters are, while not exactly deep, certainly well thought out enough to make hanging around with them enjoyable.
In the end, Underworld Beauty is perhaps not as singular a viewing experience as Suzuki’s later, more idiosyncratic masterworks like Branded to Kill, Tokyo Drifter and Gate of Flesh, but it is nonetheless noteworthy.
Liking it may make me a horrible person. Still, it won’t prevent me from maintaining my regular program of affectionately patting all human beings under four feet tall on the head, slinging old ladies over my back two at a time to carry them across the street, and cooking elaborate meals for homeless people.
Godzilla producer Tomoyuki Tanaka determined the need for a new Godzilla film for the upcoming 1966 holiday season, and further decreed that said entry should be oriented toward a teen audience and feature a South Seas theme.
Emboldened, perhaps, by the success of the first film and the amount of creative leeway given him by Toei, Ito this time largely dispensed with genre trappings and delivered a film that was even more obviously the product of a singular directorial vision.
Female Prisoner #701 is a thrilling piece of exploitation cinema, as well as a challenging work of visual artistry. But, as great as it is, it merely set the stage for what was to come.
The Pinky Violence films of Norifumi Suzuki represent one extreme of the tendency of Japanese exploitation films of the seventies to combine a very high level of craftsmanship with an unflinching preoccupation with human behavior at its most sleazy and mysteriously perverse.