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Funky Hat no Kaidanji: Nisenman-en no Ude

Hepcat in the Funky Hat: The Case of the 2,000,000 Yen Arm
Vigilante in the Funky Hat: 200,000 Yen Arm

Japan 1961
produced by
directed by Kinji Fukasaku
starring Sonny Chiba, Hitomi Nakahara, Mamoru Ogawa, Shiro Okamoto, Susumu Hajima, Rikiya Iwaki

Hepcat in the Funky Hat

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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All young Hiro (Sonny Chiba) wanted to do was steal a date with pretty Miyako, and suddenly he's a suspect in the murder of a plastic surgeon. Now that's not such a good thing, but since Hiro thinks he's a star private detective anyways, just because his father runs a detective agency, he figures he'll be able to solve the case on his own, a case that soon takes him to a mysterious island, where he meets ... Miyako. You see, Miyako is a sport reporter, and she tries to track a college baseball player down who has mysteriously disappeared just before he could sign up with any of the big teams. Hiro soon figures the two cases are connected to one another and wants to work together with Miyako, but she thinks he's a reporter for a rival newspaper trying to steal her scoop, so she tries to shake him every step along the way, until she falls into the hands of the baddie of the piece, the baseball players manager, who keeps the boy confined to his basement after an accident that could have cost him his career - but with the help of a plastic surgeon (whose assistant was the dead man) he could be made presentable for a transfer to a top team. The manager is already trying to tie up all loose ends when hero intervenes, his father and the police in tow, and he sees to it that the manager and his cronies get their just desserts while he himself gets the girl.


Mildly entertaining and completely pointless murder mystery/comedy that's very competently done but offers nothing new to the genre, instead follows similar US-American B-movies from about 20 to 30 years ago to the letter, at least storywise, regarding its silly setup, far-fetched plottwists and ultimate resolution. That's not to say this is a really bad film though, it's enjoyable enough to kill less than an hour of time in fact, but ultimately it's nothing more than just another genre flick.


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