by Chris MaGee
It was way back in July of last year that it was announced that the folks at the Criterion Collection had picked up the rights to seven Nikkatsu action films from the 1960's. Of course this acquisition was spurred on by the success of Mark Schilling's 2007 book "No Borders, No Limits": Nikkatsu Action Cinema" and the subsequent touring film festival put together by Outcast Cinema's Marc Walkow of these rarely seen pulp classics. Now, long after it seemed like these films were going to be locked away in the Criterion vault, Marc has word that as of August 25th fans of Nikkatsu action will be able to get their fill with "Nikkatsu Noir", a five film Eclipse box set that will include Takashi Nomura's "A Colt is My Passport", Takumi Furukawa's "Cruel Gun Story", Seijun Suzuki's "Take Aim at the Police Van", Toshio Masuda's "Rusty Knife", and Koreyoshi Kurahara's "I Am Waiting". Now counting on my fingers and toes that still leaves two other Nikkatsu films not included. Could that mean that Criterion is sitting on extra to include in a second Eclipse box set... or will those two remaining films be getting the full Criterion treatment? I guess we could speculate endlessly, but for now let's just be happy that we're finally getting a chance to pick up these rare gems.
For more details on "Nikkatsu Noir" head to the Criterion Collection website here.