Continuing a dive into Nikkatsu’s vault we have Toshio Masuda’s Red Pier (1958). It stars Yujiro Ishihara as “Lefty” Jiro, a ‘50s gangster laying low in Kobe after killing a civilian over a drug smuggling racket. When he falls for the victim’s sister and starts to let slip his involvement, his low-key criminal underworld starts to come unravelled.
I’ve been reviewing Nikkatsu’s late-60s Outlaw VIP series here on Kino 893, and like every other film I look at, I like to include the director. Unfortunately, I’ve just realised that I’ve been crediting the wrong man for every instalment after the first! Toshio Masuda directed Outlaw Gangster VIP, but the first sequel was actually the directorial debut of Keiichi Ozawa. The third film, Heartless, was from Mio Ezaki, and then Ozawa returned for the last three. I must confess, I only realised my mistake while reading the booklet included in the Arrow Video release.
It’s surprisingly difficult to dig up information on some of these films, so all credit to Arrow and the supplementary material with their releases. I’ll have to keep a closer eye on the credits!
I’m aiming to post a new review every Friday, and coming up, I’ve got the last Outlaw VIP movies, Sion Sono’s Cold Fish, and the first Stray Cat Rock movie, Delinquent Girl Boss. If anyone has suggestions not already mentioned on the Archive page, let me know in the comments!
The main reason I wanted to watch Kinji Fukasaku’s Battles Without Honour and Humanity series is that I’d heard they were the turning point between the old-fashioned ninkyo eiga (chivalry movies) that portrayed the yakuza as honourable heroes, and more modern, gritty, arguably more realistic takes where the criminals are actually the bad guys. Outlaw: Gangster VIP (1968) came out a few years before Battles Without Honour and Humanity, but it’s going in the same direction.