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Yakuza no Hakaba: Kuchinashi no Hana

Yakuza Graveyard
Yakuza Burial: Yasmine Flower

Japan 1976
produced by
Toei
directed by Kinji Fukasaku
starring Tetsuya Watari, Meiko Kaji, Seizo Fukumoto, Takuzo Kawatani, Hideo Murota, Nagisa Oshima, Tatsuo Umemiya
written by Kazuo Kasahara, music by Toshiaki Tsushima

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Kuroiwa (Tetsuya Watari) is a no-nonsense violent cop that acts especially tough towards the yakuza - but then he notices certain irregularities within the police, as the cops want to take down the Nishida gang while leaving the larger Yamashiro gang who wants to muscle in on their territory, virtually untouched. On the other hand, there's Keiko (Meiko Kaji), wife of Nishida's imprisoned leader, whom he eventually falls in love with - even though he eventually finds out she's a heroin-addicted half-Korean ex-whore -, and straight-talking Iwata, Nishida's acting leader, whom Kuroiwa becomes best friends and even bloodbrother with after a few brawls.

However, Kuroiwa's superiors in the police do not like it one bit that he gets so awfully friendly with the Nishida gang and actually wants to go after the Yamashiro gang - and thus, Kuroiwa is eventually suspended.

Eventually, all-out-war breaks out between Nishida and Yamashiro, but the police does nothing to intervene so to least get into the way of the Yamashiro gang.

Iwata gets gravely injured in a fight, but Iwata gets him to a safe place. Now both the police and Yamashiro are after Iwata, and it isn't long before they figure Kuroiwa has hidden him - and Yamashiro gets its hands on Kuroiwa first ... Kuroiwa is drugged, and Iwata's location is forced out of him bagainst his will. Then Iwata is brutally killed.

Everybody within Nishida believes Kuroiwa has betrayed Iwata, which is of course technically true but only half the truth. Kuroiwa could live with rejection from Nishida, but he wants to prove to Keiko that he is not a traitor, so he goes into the police station the next day and shoots the chief of police and the politician who has established ties between the police force and Yamashiro in the first place. Of course, though, Kuroiwa does not survive this himself, either ...

 

One of Kinji Fukaswaku's less brilliant yakuza films from the 1970's, this is still interesting inasmuch as Fukasaku's distrust of authorities (namely the police), a recurring motive in all his gangster films , is driven to new extremes here when a policeman finds his own police force so corrupt that he rather sides with the yakuza then pretend to be a law enforcer. All this makes of course for an ok story, and Fukasaku certainly knows how to keep things going at a steady pace, but the greatness of his yakuza classics is somewhat amiss here.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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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
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD