Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"That's the Ninja chewing gum bullet!"

Any movie featuring black-tight clad go-go dancers wielding razor-sharp 45 rpm records as weapons and the line, "Chewing gum bullets? A Ninja trick? I've never heard of that one!" has got to be good.
No surprise, then, that the YASUHARU HASEBE 1966 Pop Art cult classic, "ORE NI SAWARU TO ABUNAIZE (DON'T TOUCH ME, I'M DANGEROUS a.k.a. BLACK TIGHT KILLERS)" is an absolute, without-doubt, stone-cold classic.
I watched the film for the first time today -- the final day of my 11-day VACATION.
I had read about "Black Tight Killers" for years, but it wasn't until our trip to SAN FRANCISCO that I finally found a DVD copy of the film.
Although it is currently out of print, I found a $20 used copy at GREEN APPLE BOOKS, our favorite bookstore.
Hasebe was a protégé of the iconoclastic director Seijun Suzuki, and "Black Tight Killers" shows Hasabe shared the wacky humor of his mentor, as well as a fetish for outrageous, unrealistically colorful sets.
I haven't enjoyed such a spectacle of a film in ages.
There is a value beyond the look and action of the film. It is well made.
Japanese cinema historian CHRIS DESJARDINS describes "Black Tight Killers" as "one of those amazing action movies that perfectly synthesizes a number of elements, seemingly without effort, and blends them into a cohesive whole." "There's a versatile score by Naozumi Yamamoto integrating several styles of Japanese pop, a magnificent, lushly colored production design, a terrific ensemble cast headed by Akira Kobayashi and, of course, Hasebe's guidance," Desjardins writes.
I absolutely agree. "Black Tight Killers" is a joy to watch, a film worth raving about.


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