Arrows follows up the excellent Diamond Guys Vol 1. (Review HERE) with 3 more films from Japanese film studio Nikkatsu.
Here we have Tokyo Mighty Guy (1960), Danger Pays (1962) and Murder Unincorporated (1965) and these films take on a lighter tone than the films from the previous set with a very swinging sixties feel to them.
Tokyo Mighty Guy
Starring Akira Kobayashi from The Rambling Guitarist that is included in Vol 1. as well as the last 3 films in the Battles without Honour series (Review HERE) as Jiro, a chef returning from studying in France who falls foul of some local gangsters.
Well more like they fall foul of him.
As I’ve said these films are far more lighthearted than any of the previous films from the Diamond Guys series with comedy and a few musical bits thrown in as well, Tokyo Mighty Guy is as much fun to watch as any.
More beautiful shots of Tokyo like I’ve come to expect and a few familiar faces give’s us something different and fun to the usual for us to watch.
Jo Shishido stars in a comic caper where enough blank paper destined to be printed as currecny worth up to 1.8 billion Yen printed is stolen and what follows is a chase by 3 opportunist each to find a master counterfeiter so they can obtain a share of the money as well as simply stay alive when they get themselves in to deep.
Playing out like a lot of 60’s western capers of a similar nature, albeit with more people being knifed and a lot more blood, the novelty for people outside of Asia has to be to see a Japanese take on this type of film which we have seen many times before from Hollywood.
Lots of shouting and exaggerated expressions that people who watch old Japanese films will know all about add to an already amusing, campy tale.
More over the top than Tokyo Mighty Guy and just as much fun.
The mysterious Joe of Spades has issued a death sentence to the five leaders of a powerful syndicate so to protect themselves they call upon the services of assassin agency Murder Unincorporated.
They might wish that Joe finds them first.
This is by far the most farcical of all three films. The assassins are more than unusual and have their own unique ways to assassinate, from the gentleman who hides his gun in his own book of poetry to the baseball obsessed assassin who hides his gun in his baseball bat to a child that is the grandson of Al Capone.
This again stars Jo Shishido as a mechanic, Jiro, who wishes to be an apprentice to one of the assassins and always keeps money in his ear which is lucky as the assassin he follows is so money obsessed that when he holds up Jiro at gunpoint and forces him to give him a lift he then charges Jiro for that ride.
From the killers that change TV channels and dial phones by shooting them, technology was sturdier back in the 60’s compared to today, to killers that were once a chef but was so scared of killing fish he decided it was easier to kill people you know you aren’t watching Oldboy (2003) here.
If you like completely over the top films then this is one for you and a welcome change to the humourless capers we are subjected to today.
The films of Diamond Guys Vol. 2 are definitely not as serious as they were in the previous volume but with all the faces you’ll recognise as well as the same locations it’s nice to see them doing something that’s just fun.
Included on the Blu-ray are a couple of nice extras giving you a background into the lives and careers of Akira Kobayashi and Jo Shishido that give some nice insight into the actors that are very much worth a watch.
I don’t know if there will be a Vol. 3 and what direction that will take but I can say that I will welcome it based on what I’ve seen so far.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
Limited Edition Blu-ray collection (3000 copies)
High Definition digital transfers of all three films in this collection, from original film elements by Nikkatsu Corporation
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation
Original uncompressed mono audio
Newly translated English subtitles
Specially recorded video discussions with Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp on Diamond Guys Jo Shishido and Akira Kobayashi
Original trailers for all three films
Extensive promotional image galleries for all films
Reversible sleeve featuring brand new artwork by Graham Humphreys
Booklet featuring new writing on all the films and director profiles by Stuart Galbraith IV, Tom Mes and Mark Schilling.