Branded to Kill (The Criterion Collection)
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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
- Exclusive interview with director Seijun Suzuki
- Vintage Japanese film ephemera from the collection of John Zorn
Top Customer Reviews
Branded to Kill plays like a cross between an American noir from the 1950s (Kiss Me Deadly), a French New Wave post-noir (Breathless, Le Doulos), and a Japanese "art" film (Woman in the Dunes). At first, you think Goro (Jo Shishido) is one odd dude (with his chipmunk cheeks, weird rice obsession, insatiable libido, etc.), but then you meet the women in his life... Both of them, his wife (Mariko Ogawa) and butterfly-obsessed mistress (Mari Annu), are about as strange as it gets (so strange--and downright kinky--that accusations of misogyny would not be completely misplaced).
If you've been looking for something different, you've found it in Branded to Kill. If the plot is as incomprehensible as that of The Big Sleep, it doesn't really matter.Read more ›
"Branded to Kill" seems like the Asian precursor to films like "Hard Boiled" and "The Killer". BTK's action scenes are inventive and frenzied. They are not "realistic", but they fit within the film's tone, which is unrealistic anyway. Everything is over the top, and the film has that "go for broke" feeling of the New Wave. You have to admire Suzuki's moxy, which suits the era and environment in which the film was created.
In the interview on this disk, Suzuki says his films were meant to be strictly entertaining. That they are. "Branded to Kill" is one of the most entertaining films I've ever seen, besting even some of Roger Corman's films. It's both maddening and exuberant, and a great example of perverse cinema.
While we are graced with films with visual style, humor and coolness by Beat Takeshi, Takashi Miike, Kazuaki Kiriya to name a few... Seijun Suzuki was part of the Nikkatsu company that churned two movies a week and had to work with a low budget, be creative and churn out a film within 25 days. Needless to say, executives didn't understand Suzuki's style, they criticized him, they talked down to him but what they didn't know was that his style was not being rebellious, it was his style.
Perhaps Suzuki's style was too surreal because what Nikkatsu wanted was traditional Japanese films that they were used to making. Seijun Suzuki who created 40 B-movies for the company between 1956 and 1967 was anything but traditional, not necessarily a rebel but he created films that he wanted to make,each film being different and now respected as films that were ahead of its time.
Prior to releasing his final film, "Branded to Kill", for Nikkatsu, they were growing tired by his inability to create traditional films that the executives were used too. But by the end of "Branded to Kill", the executives of the company had enough of Suzuki's style of filmmaking. While he never complained, he was fired from his job. And Suzuki was not a man to let the studio run all over him. In fact, he successfully sued the company for wrongful dismissal but in Japanese business tradition, if you sue an entertainment company, you will be blacklisted (which still goes on today in Japan) and in this case, Suzuki was blacklisted for ten years.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A director fed up with what he is good at and what his studio keeps cramming down his throat. He really wanted to do just about anything other than Yakuza films. Read morePublished 2 months ago by potzo
KORO SHI NO RAKUIN (BRANDED TO KILL). Hilariously Terrible: A Cult Classic.
Rating = ***
Director: Seijun Suzuki
Producers: Kaneo Iwai et al. Read more
"Branded to Kill" is a high-octane action thriller with Joe Shishido proving yet again that he's a bona-fide star. Read morePublished 16 months ago by B. Adducchio
I bought this for my brother and he loved it. If you enjoy Japanese cinema or want a good place to start, Branded To Kill delivers. Read morePublished 19 months ago by J1mbo Jon3s
The film's a little loose but has one of the great shoot-'em-up scenes: it's outside, only one guy left standing, he starts to walk away then ten paces later he takes off his... Read morePublished on September 23, 2013 by L. Monstuart
A Yakuza special film from Japan. A fine director. Necessaraly to see it for the fans of the genre. See an additional short with a conversation with the director. Read morePublished on December 14, 2012 by yorge Zander
Seijun Suzuki is probably the most overated Japanese director in the West, it is completely inexplicable how his films are hailed as "cult classics" having watched a few of his... Read morePublished on October 25, 2012 by Joseph
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