Black -Tight Killers (1966)

October 14, 2003 • Film, Reviews

[director Yasuharu Hasebe]

Color 87 min

A Nikkatsu quickie from the action days, a very hammy James-Bond-style movie in which a photographer (Akira Kobayashi, almost alarmingly bad in his Bond-knockoff role) hits on a girl who is then kidnapped by the black-tight killers. The killers are a gang of lusty girl-thieves, who between them are like a low-rent Errol Flynn playing Zorro. Clad in black tights and leather jackets, they kill people with 7 ?-inch records, exploding chewing gum, and swords that spool out of tape-measures. They drive swank cars and try all sorts of acrobatics and gunplay. Get this–they are former prostitutes. Didn’t see that one coming, eh?

The movie purports to be a comedy, but future “”violent pink”” director Yasuharu Hasebe (later to be responsible for the roughest pink films, like Rape! And Rape! 13th Hour) attacks his subject matter in such earnest that it matches his crew’s lack of talent, resulting in a nuclear explosion. The movie is that nuclear explosion, an unfunny mess of disparate elements, many of which appear amateurish.

It just goes to show why Hasebe’s mentor, Seijun Suzuki deserves all the praise he gets as a genre master. Suzuki’s movies, made with much less of a budget than this A-list action pic, look a great deal more professional, and they also remain fascinating today. This film, in which Hasebe tries to borrow the flair and lunacy his mentor specialized in, does not remain fascinating, however. Unless you have an incurable addiction to relics from the mod era.

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