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Burai Yori Daikanbu

Gangster VIP
Hoodlum - Leading Mobster

Japan 1968
produced by
Kaneo Iwai for Nikkatsu
directed by Toshio Masuda
starring Tetsuya Watari, Chieko Matsubara, Mitsuo Hamada, Tamio Kawachi, Kyosuke Machida, Kayo Matsuo, Yasuko Sanjo, Sanae Kitabayashi, Michitaro Mizushima, Hirohisa Toda, Tatsuya Fuji, Yoshiaki Akoi, Akiyoshi Fukae, Hiroshi, Masahiro Kinoshita, Yasuhiro Kameyama, Takeshi Yoshida, Tetsumichi Nakahira, Kaku Takashina, Misako Tominaga
screenplay by Goro Fujita, Kaneo Ikegami, Keiji Kubota, based on a story by Goro Fujita, music by Naozumi Yamamoto

Outlaw: Gangster VIP

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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3 years ago, Yakuza Goro (Tetsuya Watari) had been arrested after a shoot-out between him and his childhood friend Sugiyama (Kyosuke Machida) that happened when they found themselves in different gangs. Now Goro's out again, and welcomed by his boss Mizuhara (Michitaro Mizushima) and gang with open arms ... but wherever he goes, Goro finds himself running into goons of the rival gang led by Ueno (Yoshiaki Aoki), and the fights get increasingly violent. Goro's heart is broken when he finds out Saeko (Yasuko Sanjo), the girl who has sworn to wait for him, has since married a boring (yet stable) office worker, while he's more than a little irritated by Yukiko (Chieko Matsubara), a girl who has fallen in love with him, and he just can't shake off even though he knows he'll make her unhappy some day just because of being a Yakuza. But times change, and the Mizuhara clan and the Ueno clan seem to broker a peace agreement after all these years ... that only holds until Goro's best friend Takeo (Mitsuo Hamada) is slaughtered by the Ueno clan, when he was just about to skip town to start somewhere else anew. Then Sugiyama is released from prison as well, and even though Goro and he almost killed each other back when, they manage to reconcile over the lack of honour their respective gangs show nowadays - but that seems to be a downhill trip ...


Gangster VIP is credited with being one of the first Yakuza movies to also show the dark, gritty, realist side of a genre that has often been romanticised - and given the story for this movie was written by an actual former mobster, it should come as small surprise this works rather well, too ... but it's of course also down to a clever screenplay that manages to balance out the melodramatic with the violent, a directorial effort that finds a way to bring both and even a little bit of humour to the screen effectively, and spot-on performances to make the whole thing really work.

Totally worth a look, actually!


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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