Mikko Zero Rain
Smashing the 0-Line
Secret Zero Zone / Clandestine Zero Line
Shozo Ashida (planner) for Nikkatsu
directed by Seijun Suzuki
starring Hiroyuki Nagato, Yuji Kodaka, Sanae Nakahara, Mayumi Shimizu, Tomo'o Nagai, Kaku Takashina, Emiko Azuma, Shoichi Ozawa, Ryohei Uchida, Keisuke Noro
written by Yasuro Yokoyama, Goro Tanada, music by Taiichiro Kosugi
Available on DVD !
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Nishina and Katori are two reporters from different newspapers after
the same story, and even though they're old school friends there's little
that they have in common apart from the same job - while Nishina is a guy
who always tries to play it by the book and who shows compassion, Katori
has no problems betraying his informants or getting them into situations
where they end up dead, just as long as it serves his cause. Nishina's
disgusted by this, and the fact that he's engaged to Katori's sister
Sumiko doesn't make things any easier. Eventually it seems Katori pushes
things too far when he gets his hands on a stash of drugs he wants to use
to blackmail Reiko, a local bigwig who he had once thrown into the
slammer, to take him to the big boss - and instead Reiko has him and
Sumiko kidnapped and threatens to have her raped and maybe worse before
his eyes - and only the fact that Nishina was hot on his heels and has
brought the police saves the day. Then though Katori goes missing, and
going through his files, Nishina finds out he might stow away to Hong Kong
to get his hands on the number one himself - so Nishina figures it might
be a good idea to do the same. But he has clearly underestimated the
dangers that await him ...
In 1960, Seijun Suzuki wasn't yet
the genre deconstructor he later became famous/notorious for but a
director of B-movies of the pulpier variety - and this one's pretty good
for what it does, telling a crime story full of violence, action and
deceipt with a few sexy bits thrown in in a very stylish and fast-paced
way, with many a jump cut thrown in to keep the audience on their toes,
and little in terms of downtime.
Not a masterpiece, but very cool for
what it is!