'Retaliation' [Blu ray]
(Akira Kobayashi, Joe Shishido, Hideaki Nitani, Meiko Kaji, et al / Blu ray / NR / 2015 / MVD)
Overview: A tale of gang warfare that features a raft of the period's most iconic stars, in 'Retaliation' Akira Kobayashi (Battles Without Honor and Humanity, The Flowers and the Angry Waves) is a yakuza lieutenant who emerges from jail to find his gang dispersed and his aging boss in his sickbed. Shishido is the rival waiting to kill him and a young Meiko Kaji (Lady Snowblood) is the girl caught in the crossfire.
Blu ray Verdict: In 1969 future sexploitation specialist Yasuharu Hasebe (Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter) teamed up with the inimitable Jo Shishido (Tokyo Drifter, Branded to Kill) for a follow-up to their yakuza hit Massacre Gun. Here in 'Retaliation, as noted in the Overview above, Jiro, an ex-convict, comes back to the street after eight years. The gang to which he belonged is nearly disbanded; only the aging boss in his sick bed remains.<>
Still loyal to the ex-boss, Jiro approaches the powerful Hasama family to ask for assistance. Hasama kindly offers him a job: to settle the dispute in the rising manufacturing city where two opposing gangs battle over the land. Hasama promises Jiro that he will be given control over the land if he completes the task. Jiro heads first to the city with six other outlaws summoned by Hasama. However, Hasama suddenly breaks the promise and Jiro is driven to desperate measures.
Gritty and cynical, 'Retaliation' is a hard boiled precursor to Kinji Fukasaku's revisionist yakuza pictures of the 1970s - and a film that you should watch whilst NOT eating your dinner! This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
* Limited Edition Blu-ray (3000 copies only)
* Restored High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation, on Blu-ray for the first time in the world!
* Original uncompressed mono PCM audio
* Newly translated English subtitles
* Interview with renowned critic and historian Tony Rayns
* Original theatrical trailer
* Gallery featuring rare promotional images
* Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ian MacEwan
* Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp, newly illustrated by Ian MacEwan and featuring original archive stills
MVD Entertainment Group have announced the distribution of Arrow Video (UK) in North America with a host of cult titles receiving deluxe treatment in video, audio, supplements and artwork. The original launch titles were: 'Day of Anger,' 'Blind Woman's Curse,' and 'Mark of the Devil.'