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Kyokatsu Koso Waga Jinsei

Blackmail is my Life
Blackmail is my Business / Call Me Blackmail

Japan 1968
produced by
Akira Oda for Shochiku
directed by Kinji Fukasaku
starring Hiroki Matsukata, Tomomi Sato, Yoko Mihara, Tetsuro Tanba, Bin Amatsu, Shigeru Amachi, Akira Jo, Hideo Murota, Eriko Sono, Ryohei Uchida
based on the book by Shinji Fujiwara, music by Hajime Kaburagi

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Available on DVD !

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Muraki (Hiroki Matsukata) leads a quartet of young blackmailers (Tomomo Sato, Akira Jo, Hideo Murota), all of whom were once societal outcasts from the low end of the job range who have found a(n illigal) way to get their hands on a share of the national wealth. For a time, business is booming, and the four even find a way using their talents to avenge the death of the father of one of them, Zero (Akira Jo), by playing two Yakuza clans against one another.

Then though, a journalist tips them off about a memorandum that reveals the ties of high politics and oganized crime - and for Muraki, that's just too big an opportunity to miss out on ... even if he bites off more than he can chew, and before you know it, Zero is killed as a warning. Now Muraki is only more determined than ever to get his hands on the memorandum though, and he manages to steal it from a Yakuza boss, but not to blackmail it anymore but to have it published, out of revenge for his friend's death.

The publication of the memorandum only changes very little though, and as a tank you, Muraki is stabbed to death, in public and broad daylight.


For the most part a light-weight yet satirical crime movie, Blackmail is my Life only turns serious in its final third or so - which is pretty much the basic problem of the film, that it needs way too long to set up its actual story, the gang's attempt to blackmail high politicsand yakuza alike, and then leaves this story somewhat underdeveloped in favour of everything that went on before.

That said, Blackmail is my Life is still an entertaining film, it's well paced, nicely scored and stylishly directed - but rather than being a great movie in its own right, it's an indication of great movies to come from Fukasaku.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD