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Popular Nikkatsu tough guy Tetsuya Watari, (Tokyo Drifter)has one of his most colorful roles in this stylish thriller about a gangster on the run from the cops and his fellow Yakuza. "Killer" Goro (Watari) lives up to his nickname by shooti
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Recklessly cool killer Goro (Tetsuya Watari from Tokyo Drifter, a hotshot with a love of convertibles and pop music, murders a rival Tokyo mob boss he was only supposed to scare and is sent to Kobe to cool off. A year later he's made a cozy little home, looking out for a local madam and playing godfather to a gang of fawning disciples. He's still recklessly cool, whistling his own theme song while lounging under his Tyrolean hat like a Japanese Sinatra, picking fights in bars and frugging to groovy pop music. But suddenly he has a relentless cop and a ruthless assassin on his tail and a mystery woman in his life and the cool is overtaken by the reckless. There's a fun nostalgia to this offbeat gangster picture, which is full of funky 1960s fashions and attitudes. Compared to Seijun Suzuki's deliriously energetic gangster classics (Youth of the Beast, Branded to Kill), the wandering pace punctuated by explosions of violence seems almost sedate, but by any other standards it's an enjoyable genre tale with a compelling performance by the confident Watari. --Sean Axmaker
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