Yellow Handkerchief / Shiawase no kiiroi hankachi (1977)

Kin’ya gets dumped by his girlfriend and so he buys himself a car and takes off driving, Arriving off the ferry in Hokkaido, and not wishing to look like a “hick,” he buys himself a cowboy hat and hangs around the train station offering rides to any young women passing by. Eventually, Akemi takes him … Continue reading Yellow Handkerchief / Shiawase no kiiroi hankachi (1977)

Ballad of Orin / Banished Orin / Hanare goze Orin (1977)

Shinoda’s Ballad of Orin is a visually beautiful reconstruction of a vanished way of life in rural Japan, told through the story of a traveling singer Orin and of Tsurukawa, the man who becomes her companion and true love. This places us solidly in Mizoguchi territory with a heroine with a thwarted romance trapped by … Continue reading Ballad of Orin / Banished Orin / Hanare goze Orin (1977)

Village of Eight Gravestones / Yatsuhaka-mura (1977)

The detective Kindaichi movie revival begun by Ichikawa’s Inugami Family was quickly followed up by movies at several other studios, the most popular of which was Shochiku’s Village of Eight Gravestones. Tatsuya is called to a lawyer’s office where he is grilled to determine his true identity and then meets his long lost grandfather (on … Continue reading Village of Eight Gravestones / Yatsuhaka-mura (1977)

Manhunt / Dangerous Chase / Kimi yo fundo no kawa wo watare (1976)

The man who is wrongly accused of a crime and sets out to find the real criminal has been a common plot in Euro/American movies almost since the beginning of film history, where the police were commonly portrayed as incompetent, corrupt, or both. Japan, with its great social respect for order, has seen the story … Continue reading Manhunt / Dangerous Chase / Kimi yo fundo no kawa wo watare (1976)

Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs / Zeroka no onna: Akai wappa (1974)

Imagine all the aspects of Japanese yakuza and sexploitation films mixed with Italian giallo, multi-national European sex and torture films, and American gangster, Blaxploitation, rogue cop, and action movies of the seventies, and just for good measure throw in a touch of ninja skills and samurai standoffs, and you get Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs, which … Continue reading Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs / Zeroka no onna: Akai wappa (1974)