Reporter Scoop is hell-bent on exposing the Black Line, an illegal drug
and prostitution racket - but when he tries to get in touch with a
prostitute he considers a key informer in the story, he is drugged, and
the next morning finds himself in a hotel room, next to her naked
strangled body. He knows he's in a jam, but at least he manages to leave
the hotel before the police arriuves. He's sure they will eventually catch
up with him anyways, but as for now a little headstart is the best he can
Eventually he catches up with the maid who has served him the
drugged drink, but before she can tell him anything, she's run over by a
car, which is a clear case of murder.
Rather incidently, Scoop meets
schoolgirl Misako (Utako Mitsuya), who studies in a school for doll making
and sometime does deliveries for her school as well. It's not long before
Scoop figures out though that the dolls are actually filled with drugs,
and the schoolgirls are used as drug couriers without their knowledge.
Plus, eventually the girls are hooked on drugs and sold into prostitution.
Soon enough, Misako vanishes, which might have to do with the Black Line,
but Scoop picks up another lead in the form of Maya (Yoko Mihara), a woman
who has posed as fortune teller who has lured him into the trap in the
beginning of the film, but who is not really with the Black Line and who
soon enough falls in love with Scoop.
With Maya's help, Scoop manages to
evade the police who's now after him time and again, and her information
ultimately leads him to the boss of the Black Line, who keeps Misako
hostage. Rather naively, Scoop walks into the Black Line's lair through
the front door and thinks he can just beat the organisation's boss into
giving himself up, but is soon overcome by the Black Line's henchmen Sabu
and Killer Joe, whom Scoop knows to actually be behind the murder he is
framed with. Then though Sabu and Killer Joe shoot their own boss to take
over the organisation, and that provides Scoop with an opportunity to make
an escape, and while Misako calls the authorities, Scoop ends up doking it
out with Sabu on a speeding train - and beating him into submission.
ending finds Scoop cleared of all charges, but his love Maya will probably
have to do a prison stint for her involvement with the whole case.
movie that starts out great: The first few sequences, when Scoop tries to
get his hands on a prostitute, is drugged, finds himself in bed next to
her corpse, and then tracks down the maid who is murderd before his very
eyes, are simply greaat, tightly directed, accompanied by a really cool
jazz score, and look incredibly hip. After these scenes though, when the
actual story sets in, the film loses most of its steam, basically because
the film as a whole isn't all that well-written, the plot relies a bit too
much on simple coincidence, it only creates a limitd amount of tension and
suspense (though there are pretty suspenseful isolated scenes), and its
resolution seems to be pulled out of a hat because the movie's running
time is over rather than carefully constructed. Still, a pretty
entertaining thriller with traces of American film noirs, but not the film
it could have been with a better script.