Nikkatsu Noir: Eclipse From The Criterion Collection
From the mid-1950s to the early 1970s, wild, idiosyncratic crime movies were the brutal and boisterous business of Nikkatsu, the oldest film studio in Japan. In an effort to attract youthful audiences growing increasingly accustomed to American and French big-screen imports, Nikkatsu began producing action potboilers (mukokuseki akushun, or "borderless action") modeled on the western, comedy, gangster, and teen-rebel genres. This bruised and bloody collection represents a standout cross section of what Nikkatsu had to offer, from such prominent, stylistically daring directors as Seijun Suzuki, Toshio Masuda, and Takashi Nomura.
I Am Waiting
Yujiro Ishihara is an ex-boxer roped into the criminal underworld when he falls for a mysterious young woman (Mie Kitahara) fleeing her gangster boss.
Best friends (Ishihara and Akira Kobayashi) trying to go straight after a youth of crime are tracked down to testify against former associates in a murder trial.
Take Aim At The Police Van
A prison guard metes out his own brand of justice when he goes in search of the criminals who put his job - and the lives of those he was guarding - on the line.
Cruel Gun Story
Japanese cinema's tough guy extraordinaire Joe Shishido (Branded to Kill) coolly plays a thief who's released from jail and pulled into a tricky plot to hold up an armored car.
A Colt Is My Passport
Shishido returns, this time as a hit man hired by yakuza to rub out a rival gang's boss only to be betrayed and targeted by both sides. Colt culminates in one of cinema's most visually audacious shoot-outs.