Branded To Kill (Koroshi no Rakuin)
Director: Seijun Suzuki
Cast: Jô Shishido, Kôji Nanbara, Isao Tamagawa, Mari Annu
Genre: Crime Drama
Language: Japanese with English subtitles
Country of Origin: Japan 1967 98 mins.
Released by ARROW FILMS
'Wacky, laid back, and moody with a style of its own, shot in stark noirish black and white - unique'
Seijun Suzuki’s delirious 1967 hit-man film has drawn comparisons with contemporaries 'Le Samourai' and 'Point Blank' and influenced directors such as John Woo, Jim Jarmusch and Quentin Tarantino.
Laconic Goro Hanada (Jo Shishido), aka ‘No. 3 Killer’, the third rated Yakuza hit-man in Japan wants the No 1 spot. Hired by the mysterious death obsessed 'femme fatale' Misako (Mari Annu) who's got an entomological specimen collection in her bedroom and an impaled starling dangling from the rear view car mirror, Goro bungles the hit and is soon the target of his Yakuza boss which means bullet ridden mayhem and a face-to-face meet with the No. 1 Killer.
Wacky, laid back, unique, cool and moody with a style of its own, shot in stark noirish black and white with wonderful use of light and shadow and a jazzy background score, 'Branded to Kill', unrecognised in 1967 is considered by some as Seijun Suzuki's masterpiece and treated with disdain by others. Intelligent, stylish, wonderfully enjoyable nonsense - pure cinema.
Seijun Suzuki directed 42 films for Nikkatsu Studios and they used 'Branded To Kill' as an excuse to fire him.
'My films didn't make money, they didn't make sense, so they fired me.' - Seijun Suzuki
'Branded To Kill' is in selected cinemas 25th July and released on DVD & Blue ray 18th August 2014