Friday, November 14, 2008

Branded to Kill

Thursday, November 13, 2008

There has been some tension for me during my K2K between watching important art films and watching more fun, entertaining films. Watching more cult movies might have been a nice compromise. This is not a great movie, but it's just so oddball that I had to enjoy it. It's a b&w Japanese crime movie from the 60's, only done in some weird absurd style. It's about trials and tribulations of the Yakuza's #3 hitman, who amongst other quirks is sexually aroused by the smell of boiling rice. The movie at times feels like a less offensive precursor to the films of Takashi Miike.

So there's all sorts of strange acts of violence and inexplicable happenings, several naked Asian ladies and a lot of weird humor. I wasn't blown away, but it was a fun watch. I noticed that Jim Jarmusch stole a moment from this film in Ghost Dog, where a guy kills another guy by shooting up through a drain pipe into his bathroom. That was sweet. The highlight of the film is an extended sequence later on, where the #1 killer moves in with #3, both aware that the other wants to kill them, as a way of psyching him out. They follow each other around all day, even to the bathroom, although at one point #1 just pisses himself rather than turn his back on #3. I'm not really doing it justice, but it's a hilarious section of the film.

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