Nikkatsu, the oldest film studio in Japan, inaugurated a star system in the late 1950s, finding talent and contracting them to a series of wild genre pictures. This collection celebrates these Diamond Guys with three classic films from directors Buichi Saito (Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in Peril), Ko Nakahira (Crazed Fruit), and Haruyasu Noguchi, who is a new discovery for the West.
In Saito s Tokyo Mighty Guy, mega star Akira Kobayashi stars as Jiro in the rambunctious tale of a chef who opens a restaurant in the busy Ginza district. His culinary skills and dashing good looks bring in the women as well as unwanted trouble, while an explosive political scandal builds around his girlfriend s business...
Next, Jo Shishido (Massacre Gun, Retaliation), one of the most popular Diamond Guys in the West, stars in Danger Paws, a crime caper from Ko Nakahira about counterfeiting. When one billion yen goes AWOL, Joe the Ace (Shishido) spies an opportunity to get rich quick, but things soon go wrong as it turns out he isn t the only one who ll stop at nothing to get his hands on the missing cash...
Finally, Shishido stars once again in Noguchi s screwball classic Murder Unincorporated. When the mysterious Joe of Spades executes one of the bosses of a powerful syndicate, his colleagues, fearing for their own lives, call on the services of assassin agency Murder Unincorporated to take care of the problem. This unique entry showcases some of the most peculiar killing tactics to ever hit Japanese cinema!
Presented on DVD and Blu-ray for the first time in the West, these thrilling genre films feature some of Nikkatsu s leading talent at the top of their game.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
Limited Edition Blu-ray collection (3000 copies)
High Definition digital transfers of all three films in this collection, from original film elements by Nikkatsu Corporation
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation
Original uncompressed mono audio
Newly translated English subtitles
Specially recorded video discussions with Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp on Diamond Guys Jo Shishido and Akira Kobayashi
Original trailers for all three films
Extensive promotional image galleries for all films
Reversible sleeve featuring brand new artwork by Graham Humphreys
Booklet featuring new writing on all the films and director profiles by Stuart Galbraith IV, Tom Mes and Mark Schilling
Unrated (Not Rated)
Limited Special Edition
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Arrow Video's first Nikkatsu Diamond Guys set (review found here) was just the sort of curated film experience home video seems to be headed towards: a selection of categorically-grouped titles highlighting the Nikkatsu studio's top tier of male stars working in some fast, fun genre fare. And the second set follows an even more unexpected path of youth comedies, ensemble farce and flat-out spoofs that are a welcome treat right out of left field.
Tokyo Mighty Guy (1960) leans heavily on the burgeoning generation gap to get most of its laughs. The lithely handsome Akira Kobayashi stars as Jiro, a French-speaking wannabe chef whose family restaurant is nearly destroyed when a famous ex-prime minister crashes his car into the front entrance. This sets off a chain of loosely connected problems including threats from the local "protection" squad who demand payment, a case of mistaken identity at the massage parlor and a shotgun wedding that ends in true love...
Maybe even more so than the first NIKKATSU DIAMOND GUYS, this triple pack of as-of-yet unreleased in the West movies shows you a face of Japanese cinema you might not even have known existed so far, light-footed genre comedies (some with musical interludes) that were not playing to posterity but to popular tastes of contemporary audiences - and are thus irresistible to anyone interested in cinema history away from the somewhat doubtful "canon", that gives one an idea of yesterdays aesthetics and coolness, humour and world views, embedded in three likeable little films that in all probability nobody ever will call classics ... but they're sure to put smiles on many faces!
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