SEIJUN SUZUKI: THE EARLY YEARS VOL. 2 REVIEWED
“Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years Vol. 2” is a collection of crime thrillers, Japanese westerns and a rough riff on The Wages of Fear. These movies have never been on home video outside of Japan, so this is fresh viewing for me. Ultimately, my take is that while I enjoy Suzuki…these are the kinds of films that are going to take time to soak in appreciation juices. I’m a big fan of the borderless action concept that allows sweeping action to bust out of the frame. It’s just that I wanted to see more masters try it other than Suzuki.
The run times on the box seem off, but that doesn’t bother me. That being said, I get why it’s a Limited Edition. While I’d like to see more people get a chance to see this release, not everyone is going to hang with an older Japanese director. Too often, Asian cinema tastes are decided for the international market by the most appealing. Dive deeper, people. Dive deep!
- Audio commentary by critic and author Jasper Sharp on Smashing the 0-Line
- Tony Rayns on the Crime and Action Movies – the critic and historian discusses the background to the films, their place within Suzuki’s career and the talent involved with them
- Stills gallery
- Reversible sleeves featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
- 60-page illustrated collector’s book featuring new writing by Jasper Sharp
- Limited Edition Dual Format Collection
- 2.35:1 1080p transfer
- LPCM 1.0
RELEASE DATE: 4/17/18
The Plot Thus Far
BOUNDARY-BREAKING EARLY CRIME THRILLERS, MOB DRAMAS AND ACTION MOVIES FROM LEGENDARY CULT DIRECTOR SEIJUN SUZUKI
Includes: Eight Hours of Terror (1957), The Sleeping Beast Within (1960), Smashing the 0-Line (1960), Tokyo Knights (1961), The Man with a Shotgun (1961).
Available for home-viewing for the very first time ever outside of Japan, this collection of bleak crime thrillers, brash mob dramas and exuberant action movies, made across the first five years of Seijun Suzuki s career within Nikkatsu s Borderless Action (mukokuseki akushon) line, presents a heady mix that laid the ground for what was to come.
The Sleeping Beast Within (1960) is a gripping crime thriller that sees a newspaper reporter s search for his girlfriend s missing father lead him into heart of the criminal underworld of Yokohama s Chinatown. Its companion piece, Smashing the 0-Line (1960), follows two reporters descent into a scabrous demimonde of drug and human trafficking. In Eight Hours of Terror (1957), a bus making its precarious way across a winding mountain road picks up some unwelcome passengers. In Tokyo Knights (1961), a college student takes over the family business in the field of organised crime, while The Man with A Shotgun (1961) marks Suzuki s first entry into the territory of the borderless Japanese Western.