NIKKATSU DIAMOND GUYS REVIEWED
“Nikkatasu Diamond Guys” returns with a second volume. Tokyo Mighty Guy is the first film up, as it launched a film series that proved successful for Nikkatsu. It’s cool in the sense of the Suzuki films, but it lacks any narrative punch-up. “Danger Pays” is more of an action comedy that feels like the kind of schlock that Cannon would produce in the mid 1980s. Then, there’s “Murder Unincorporated” which plays like the best of Noir mixed with Shane Black sensibilities. The second volume is far more eclectic than the first, but I can see people not gravitating to this set.
The reason being is that the excessive reliance on action comedy can rub people wrong. It’s not like they’re going to be offended, but humor with action tends to go ignored. The best example of this is with the best film on the set “Murder Unincorporated”. Joe Shishido plays a mysterious mob enforcer who picks off one of the top gangsters in the country. The musical score telegraphs the humor of the material, but honestly this could be a peak Hitchcock film about the wrong person upgrading their status in a world above their means. Amazing work all around.
- Image Galleries
- 2.35:1 1080p transfer
- LPCM mono
RELEASE DATE: 6/21/16
The Plot Thus Far
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 Pays, 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.