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Yakuza Keibatsu-shi: Rinchi!

Yakuza Law
Yakuza Torture History - Lynching / Yakuza's Law: Lynching / Record of Yakuza Punishment - Lynch Law!

Japan 1969
produced by
Shigeru Okada for Toei
directed by Teruo Ishii
starring Ryutaro Otomo, Bunta Sugawara, Minoru Oki, Hiroshi Miyauchi, Teruo Yoshida, Renji Ishibashi, Keiko Fujita, Yukie Kagawa, Hisaya Ito, Ichiro Sugai, Yoshiko Fujita, Noriko Kuroda, Masumi Tachibana, Yoko Koyama, Shinichi Hayashi, Takashi Fujiki, Toshio Chiba, Shotaro Hayashi, Kenji Ikeda, Yumiko Katayama, Hideo Ko, Ryota Minowada, Kyonosuke Murai, Ken Sawaaki, Toyozo Yamamoto
written by Teruo Ishii, music by Masao Yagi

Joys of Torture

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Three yakuza-themed but otherwise independent stories from three differend eras of Japanese history:

  • The Edo era (roughly 1600 until the mid 19th century): Tsune (Bunta Sugawara) saves a young yakuza (Hiroshi Miyauchi) from the wrath of their boss (Ichiro Sugai) - but as a consequence that might create more problems for everybody than Tsune could have hoped to solve under the best of circumstances.
  • The Meiji era (mid 19th to early 20th century): Ogata (Minoru Oki) kills the boss of a rival clan, but his own boss Iwakiri (Hisaya Ito) doesn't show the least bit of gratitude and instead lures him into a trap, has him exiled, sent to prison, tortured ... in other words, does enough evil to him that would make the most mild-mannered man lust for revenge - but being mild-mannered was never one of Ogata's qualities ...
  • Contemporary Japan: When a fortune in gold is stolen from the Hashiba gang, their executioner Shimazu (Takashi Fujiki) is quick to start a gang war to end all gangwars, unaware that Hirose (Teruo Yoshida) an expert marksman and safecracker has actually stolen the money. And inexplicably, it's Hirose who only fans the fire of the gangwar, even if he gets caught in the middle of it.

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Yakuza Law is pretty much typical for cult director Teruo Ishii's output in the late 1960s/early 70s: There's tons of violence and torture, often very graphic but also comicbook-style exaggerated in approach. There are also some sexy bits in this one, but less than in other movies of his Joys of Torture cycle. But what really makes this movie, it's stylish and flashy in a way typical for the period that somehow still seems fresh for today's audiences. And while the stories told in this film are all hard to follow and over-convoluted, they're expertly paced so the pure joy of storytelling outweighs the over-complexities of the stories at hand.

That all said, especially due to all the violence, it's definitely not a film for everybody - but for those inclined, it's  perfect trip down memory lane!


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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
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and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
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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