Gangster VIP (Burai yori daikanbu)
Friday, February 22, 2008
“Gangster VIP is a far more mature and serious film than most of Nikkatsu’s action films from the 60s, benefiting from some great acting, especially from its lead Watari (Tokyo Drifter), and the poignant final scenes will stick in one’s mind for a long time after the film is over.”
-- Jasper Sharp, Midnight Eye
1968, 93 min., 35mm, color. Directed by Toshio Masuda. With Tetsuya Watari, Kyosuke Machida, Chieko Matsubara. .
After spending three years in prison for stabbing a hitman from a rival gang, Goro comes out disenchanted with yakuza life. When he decides to abandon gangster life entirely, tragedy intervenes, and Goro sets out for revenge.
The first installment in the six-part Burai series (1968-69)Director Masuda calls Gangster VIP, “a youth film that happens to be set in the yakuza world." For Goro there is no easy way out of the world that nurtured him. Based on the memoirs of a real yakuza, Goro Fujita, this film reveals a darker, more desperate side to Watari’s on-screen persona.