by Chris MaGee
One thing you have to say about Nikkatsu, Japan's oldest surviving movie studio, is that it knows exactly how to thrive while its competing studios are just trying to tread water. Back in the early 70's when movie theatre attendance in Japan was in the basement Nikkatsu shut down production of mainstream films and shifted its focus entirely to producing its now famous (or infamous) line of Roman Porno films. Now 40 years later while the Japanese film industry is flailing around trying to find which direction to go in this new century Nikkatsu once again is taking its films to the bank with its extreme genre wing Sushi Typhoon. We've already seen Sushi Typhoon release such midnight screening favorites as "Alien vs. Ninja" and "Hell Driver" and now they are readying a new film from a director we've all heard of before.
Joining the Sushi Typhoon roster of Yoshihiro Nishimura, Noboru Iguchi and Seiji Chiba is Yudai Yamaguchi (above left), the man behind such zany comedies as "Battlefield Baseball" and "Cromartie High: The Movie", as well as horror films like "Meatball Machine" and "Tamami: The Baby's Curse". Yamaguchi is actually teaming up with Sushi Typhoon regular Tak Sakaguchi to co-direct the new action film "Yakuza Weapon". Many of you will remember Sakaguchi's hilarious martial arts performance in Yamaguchi's "Battlefield Baseball", but this time around Sakaguchi stays away from competitive sports and is concentrating on revenge. "Yakuza Weapon" sees Sakaguchi portraying Shozo Iwaki, a gangster who must face his old partner in crime Kurawaki (Shingo Tsurumi). It turns out that Kurawaki has double-crossed and murderered Iwaki's father. The two battle it out and in the process Iwaki loses an arm and a leg., but have no fear! Those get replaced with a machine gun and a rocket launcher and Iwaki continues his plan for bloody revenge.
"Yakuza Weapon" just had its international premiere at this year's Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival and the above right poster has just been released. You can also check out a gallery of stills from the film at Sushi Typhoon's official website here. Thanks to Twitch for this news.