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Black Tight Killers
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Genre:Art/Foreign
Year:1966
Rating:NR
Length:1 Hour 24 Minutes
Cast:Yasuharu Hasebe, Akira Kobayashi, Chieko Matsubara

Former assistant director to maverick auteur Seijun Suzuki, Yasuharu Hasebe made his directorial debut with this lurid, bizarre gangster-spy yarn. The film opens on Daisuke Honda (played by matinee idol Akira Kobayashi), a hard-bitten war photographer fresh from the trenches of Vietnam. On the plane back to Tokyo, he happens upon stewardess Yuriko Sawanouchi (Chieko Matsubara, who also starred in Suzuki's masterpiece Tokyo Drifter) and soon our suave protagonist is entertaining the well-coifed lass at the sort of jazz bar one could easily imagine in La Dolce Vita. Unfortunately, their outing is marred by a shadowy foreigner who seems to have dark-hearted designs on Honda's date. As he moves in to protect Yuriko, the foreigner is suddenly attacked by a trio of leather-clad female ninjas with perfect hair. They kill the stalker and attack Honda with blades hidden in compacts and bubble gum bullets. As he reports the murder to the police from a pay phone, Yuriko is suddenly nabbed and stuffed in the trunk of a tail-finned Thunderbird. At the Momochi Ninja Research Institute where he makes his home, Honda wakes up from a nightmare about homicidal female ninjas go-go dancing on a Technicolor set, and takes off to investigate Yuriko's disappearance further. As the plot grows ever more loopy and labyrinthine, Honda befriends his former compact-wielding assailants and joins forces to fight a nefarious band of foreigners looking for some wartime gold that Yuriko's army colonel father hid on a remote deserted island. Jonathan Crow

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