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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Ore ni sawaru to abunaize" or "Black Tight Killers" or "B.T.K." or "If You Touch Me Danger")

 

Directed by Yasuharu Hasebe
Japan 1966

 

After wooing stewardess Yoriko (Chieko Matsubara, Tokyo Drifter), war photographer Hondo (Akira Kobayashi, Battles Without Honor and Humanity) sees her kidnapped by a team of deadly female assassins who use vinyl records as weapons. Investigating her whereabouts, Hondo uncovers a conspiracy to steal a buried stash of WWII-era gold. Soon he must dodge go-go dancing ninjas and chewing-gum bullets to save Yoriko, whose family secret is tied to the hidden treasure. Every bit as stylish and inventive as the wildest works by his mentor Seijun Suzuki, Yasuharu Hasebe's spy spoof is a gaudy 1960s pop delight that ranks with the likes of Joseph Losey's Modesty Blaise and Mario Bava's Danger: Diabolik!

***

A military photographer takes a cute stewardess out to dinner where she is promptly kidnapped. Deciding that he has fallen in love with the girl, our "hero" decides to investigate her kidnapping himself.

***

Daisuke Honda, a war photographer in Vietnam, meets Yuriko Sawanouchi, a stewardess on his plane back to Japan. After drinking with her at a Tokyo bar, he becomes involved in saving Yuriko from assassination by stylish, female ninjas. When trying to rescue Yuriko from kidnappers, Daisuke discovers a group of foreigners are hunting for a WWII-era treasure hidden on an island by Yuriko's father.

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 12th, 1966

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Review: Radiance - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Radiance - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:26:38.735         
Video

2.35:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,113,163,923 bytes

Feature: 22,277,784,576 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.93 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio Japanese 1439 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1439 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Radiance

 

2.35:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,113,163,923 bytes

Feature: 22,277,784,576 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.93 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Audio commentary by Jasper Sharp
Archival interview with director Yasuharu Hasebe (8:33)
Trailer (2:48)
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Time Tomorrow
Limited edition booklet featuring new writing by Japanese cinema expert Chris D.


Blu-ray Release Date: February 26th, 2024

Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters: 10

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Radiance Blu-ray (January 2024): Radiance have transferred Yasuharu Hasebe's Black Tight Killers to Blu-ray. It looks fairly passive in 1080P is not for the superb, budget-constrained, art direction by Akiyoshi Satani. There are yellow / red / green filters utilized and rich, almost gaudy, primary colors that further express the film's abundant style. It has moments of crisp visuals but the kinetic camera movement can make the HD presentation appear hazy - although it is not soft - and is pleasingly consistent. It is on a single-layered disc with a very high bitrate. Black Tight Killers is in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. 

NOTE: We have added 96 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Radiance use a DTS-HD Master dual-mono track (24-bit) in the original Japanese language. Black Tight Killers had plenty of violent interactions. There are some audio effects augmenting the ninja-derived wielded weapons (discs, stars, chain whips, darts etc.) and gunshots. It is flat with a notable higher end being prominent. The score was by Naozumi Yamamoto (Branded to Kill, Outlaw: Gangster VIP, Massacre Gun, Gate of Flesh and many of Yoji Yamada's Tora-San series) and includes Arisa Takami singing "My Love Poem" as part of the soundtrack. In the commentary Jasper describe it as "jazzy be-bop". The track can sound hollow in spots which is more a function of the genre and age. Overall there were no dominating issues. Radiance offer optional English subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Radiance Blu-ray offers a new commentary by Jasper Sharp (author of Historical Dictionary of Japanese Cinema.) He discusses 'borderless action films' - a mixed bag of pop culture references drawn from across the world and reassembled in Japan. He talks about the careers of Yasuharu Hasebe, Seijun Suzuki etc. with an exotic and nonsensical core, Jasper suggest a drinking game where you have a shot every time him mentions Seijun Suzuki's name. Hmmm... He talks about the novel Triple Exposure by Michio Tsuzuki which the film is only loosely based, he describes "this being more an experimental film form". There is talk of art directors Akiyoshi Satani (for this film), Takeo Kimura (associated with Seijun Suzuki), the lighting and framing masking the modest budget, the Naozumi Yamamoto soundtrack and that the film itself is a perfect example of how fun the genre could be. Jasper references the influence of global cultural trends including spy films (Bond), the stylistic consistency found throughout the genre and much more. It's an excellent commentary. There is also an 8.5-minute archival interview from 2000 with director Yasuharu Hasebe talking about his career. Lastly is a trailer for the film. The package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Time Tomorrow an a limited edition booklet featuring new writing by Japanese cinema expert Chris D (author of GUN AND SWORD: An Encyclopedia of Japanese Gangster Films 1955-1980.)

Yasuharu Hasebe's Black Tight Killers obviously has a close relationship with the addictive cinema of Seijun Suzuki (Branded to Kill) but also suggested leanings to the Toei and Nikkatsu 'Pinky Violence' genre (Stray Cat Rock) with fearless less-inhibited girl gangs willing to commit violence. Also in the Black Tight Killers mix is popular craze of nightclub go-go dancing with short skirts accentuated by high boots as well as the brief suggestion of the darker edges of sexually perverse and fetishism explored in Japanese cinema of this time period (Blind Beast, Irezumi, Inferno of Torture, Orgies of Edo, Giants and Toys, Shogun's Joy of Torture and Horrors of Malformed Men.) Example; the "Octopus Pot" is a ninja technique where one of the gal's vagina is used as a vice, while making love, to extract information from our protagonist. To escape he releases 'laughing gas' to loosen her grip and extricate himself. Plus, of course, there are 'women in bondage' for torture scenes and the spray painting of stewardess Yoriko Sawanouchi's (played by Chieko Matsubara) partially clothed body. I'm sure you are getting the idea if you are keen. We love these rare, envelope-pushing, films. Wonderful fun. The Radiance Blu-ray continues adding to their excellent world cinema catalogue releases. More please! Absolutely recommended!

NOTE: We recommend, our fellow Beaver, Peter A. Yacavone's book Negative, Nonsensical, and Non-Conformist: The Films of Suzuki Seijun if you are keen on this delirious genre. 

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


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Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Radiance - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

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