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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Sandanju No Otoko (aka Man With A Shotgun) (1961)

A drifter (Nitani Hideaki) arrives in a mountain logging village looking for the men who raped and killed his fiancee. Directed by Seijun Suzuki, the film seems off. It's entertaining enough but it comes across as a remake of an American western updated to contemporary Japan, only with drugs substituting for gold. Our hero is a sort of modern day Japanese Roy Rogers as he sings and plays the accordion while protecting the virginity of the film's heroine (Izumi Ashikawa), who's also the film's drippy conscience. Shigeyoshi Mine's lensing of the stunning Japanese mountain scenery is a highlight. It's not one of Suzuki's better films but it stands as a modest if often derivative entertainment on its own. With Yuji Kodaka, Akio Tanaka, Eiji Go and as the film's "bad" girl, Yoko Minamida who I infinitely preferred to Ashikawa's good girl.    

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