Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

(aka 'Koroshi no rakuin" or "Branded to Kill")

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/suzuki.htm
Japan 1967

 

Branded to Kill, the wildly perverse story of the yakuza’s rice-sniffing “No. 3 Killer,” is Seijun Suzuki at his delirious best. From a cookie-cutter studio script, Suzuki delivered this brutal, hilarious, and visually inspired masterpiece—and was promptly fired.

***

When Japanese New Wave bad boy Seijun Suzuki delivered this brutal, hilarious, and visually inspired masterpiece to the executives at his studio, he was promptly fired. Branded to Kill tells the ecstatically bent story of a yakuza assassin with a fetish for sniffing steamed rice (the chipmunk-cheeked superstar Joe Shishido) who botches a job and ends up a target himself. This is Suzuki at his most extreme—the flabbergasting pinnacle of his sixties pop-art aesthetic.

 

  Posters etc.

Theatrical Release: 1966 - Tokyo

Reviews          More Reviews          DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Sandrew Metronome (Seijun Suzuki Collection) - Region 0 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray vs. Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 Big thanks to Henrik Sylow for the DVD Review!

1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT

2) Sandrew Metronome - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Cover

 

 

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 38 - Region 0 - NTSC

Sandrew Metronome

Region 0 - PAL

Criterion Collection Spine # 38

Region 'A'  - Blu-ray

Arrow Film

Region 'B'  - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:31:00 1:30:57 1:31:19.891 1:30:57.326
Video 2.17:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.5 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.20 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 37,523,545,776 bytes

Feature: 26,731,112,448 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.96 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 42,936,750,462 bytes

Feature: 26,584,367,424 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.91 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

Criterion

Bitrate

Sandrew

Bitrate: Criterion

Blu-ray

Bitrate: Arrow

Blu-ray

Audio Japanese (Dolby Digital 1.0 mono)  2.0 Dolby Digital Japanese LPCM Audio Japanese 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit LPCM Audio Japanese 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, None Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, None *NO ENGLISH SUBS* English, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
2.17:1

Edition Details:

• Seijun Suzuki interview (14:02)

• Poster Gallery

• 2 page liner notes by John Zorn

DVD Release Date: February 23rd, 1999

Keep Case
Chapters: 27


 

Release Information:
Studio: Sandrew Metronome

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• none

DVD Release Date: April 19, 2005
Digipack

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion
 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 37,523,545,776 bytes

Feature: 26,731,112,448 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.96 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Video piece featuring new interviews with director Seijun Suzuki and assistant director Masami Kuzuu (12:10 in 1080i)
• Interview with Suzuki from 1997(14:06 in 1080i)
• New interview with actor Joe Shishido (10:57 in 1080i)
• Trailer (3:10 in 1080i)
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic and historian Tony Rayns

Blu-ray Release Date: December 13th, 2011
Transparent
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 15

Release Information:
Studio: Arrow
 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 42,936,750,462 bytes

Feature: 26,584,367,424 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.91 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Interview with director Seijun Suzuki (7:08)
• Interview with star Jo Shishido by critic and author Koshi Ueno (6:41)
• Trapped in Lust [Aiyoku no wana] (1973) A delirious roman porno re-imagining of Branded to Kill from Atsushi Yamatoya, one of Branded to Kill s screenwriters and Suzuki s regular collaborators (1:13:33)
• Original Trailers for Branded to Kill (3:10) and Trap of Lust (2:07)
• Reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork by Ian MacEwan
• Booklet by Japanese film expert Jasper Sharp, illustrated with original stills and new artwork by Ian MacEwan

DVD included

Blu-ray Release Date: July 28th, 2014
Transparent
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 12

 

Comments

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

 

ADDITION: Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray (July 14'): I've compared a number of captures and the new Arrow is almost exactly the same as the Criterion. The transfers, are virtually, technically a duplicate. The only thing you might notice by toggling between the large, linked, captures is that the Arrow seems to show more grain - and slightly more marks. I would presume that most systems would not be able to distinguish a difference between the two 1080P videos, but those projecting to large surfaces might.

 

Audio, I also not as being very close to the Criterion linear PCM. It is exactly the same transfer but at times the Arrow did sound a shade squeaky in the higher end - I believe the Criterion was the same in that regard. The Arrow also has optional English subtitles - their Blu-ray disc is region 'B'-locked.

 

NOTE: The audio for Trapped in Lust  has a 'screetchy' higher end, like fingernails across a chalkboard at times. Ughh.

 

Okay, the extras - aside from the similar interviews - 7-minutes of Seijun Suzuki and another 7-minutes with star Jo Shishido, Arrow have added another feature - Atsushi Yamatoya's 1973 Trapped in Lust - described as "a delirious roman porno re-imagining of Branded to Kill from Atsushi Yamatoya, one of Branded to Kill's screenwriters and Suzuki's regular collaborators". It is in 1080P, runs 1 1/4 hours and is quite raunchy with a lot of nudity, sex and warnings of the use of "Strong Language -true to the director's original intention". It's actually not a bad film but doesn't look very strong with plenty of artifacts visible (we have added captures at the very bottom of this review). Regardless - many will be interested to see it. There are also original trailers for Branded to Kill (3:10) and Trap of Lust (2:07) and a reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork by Ian MacEwan and the package contains a booklet by Japanese film expert Jasper Sharp, illustrated with original stills and new artwork by Ian MacEwan. Being Dual-Format a DVD of the feature is included.

 

Arrow have done another admirable job - equally the Criterion in the a/v and adding a unique extra feature film and their usual reversible sleeve and booklet. Region 'B'ers should be very pleased. This is quite the keepsake!

 

***

 

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray (November 11'): Suzuki fans have been waiting patently for a new, superior, transfer to the 1998 Criterion SD DVD. So, here we are a dozen years later and we get the director's delirious concoction in a spanking new improved 1080P Blu-ray transfer. Actually this makes the original DVD look more awful. The HD transfer visually improves dramatically in every area beside both DVDs. The green tinge of the SDs is gone and the contrast and detail are multiple times superior. Ex. Look at the 'gun being fired' capture and check out the wall on the right side of the frame. The Blu-ray shows the Stucco-like texture where the DVDs - especially the Criterion are simply a white mass. Although stating the obvious - much more information is now visible in the 2.35:1 frame. Some depth creeps in. There is still a small amount of noise and grain is there - albeit a bit clunky at times. Overall though - this is a revelation for fans of the film's extravagant style which is exported in a far more film-like presentation. Wow.

 

Audio gets the linear PCM, lossless, treatment - remaining faithfully mono and there are optional English subtitles on the region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc. Naozumi Yamamoto's original music can still sound a bit tinny but is reproduced far better via the uncompressed track.

 

We get some solid new supplements starting with a new video piece (July 2011) featuring separate interviews with director Seijun Suzuki and assistant director Masami Kuzuu who recall the production and release of Branded to Kill over a dozen minutes in HD. There is also a new 10-minute interview with actor Joe Shishido - star of Branded to Kill - also recorded this year and a March 1997 interview with Suzuki recorded during a retrospective of his work by the Japanese Foundation and Los Angeles FilmForum at the Nuart Theater in L.A. . Lastly we get a 3-minute HD trailer and a booklet featuring an essay by critic and historian Tony Rayns.

 

Branded to Kill (simultaneously released on Criterion DVD HERE) is one of the most stylistic films of all time and it's wonderful to have it and Tokyo Drifter available in the Blu-ray format. There is an acquired taste factor to these works - but once that is bridged they become absolutely addictive. Strongly recommend!   

 

Gary W. Tooze

***

ON THE METRONOME: The Criterion image is both severely cropped by 26.22%: 56px left and right (7.78%) and 16px top and bottom (5.33%), and approx. stretched 5% horizontally. In order to fit within the true 2.35:1 frame, the image had to be resized to 590x266 pixels (see composite - Criterion highlighted to make it more visible).

Sandrew was only able to get a a PAL converted NTSC source. They were offered a true PAL source, but only at a unrealistic high price. While the Sandrew image is of the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 16X9 enhanced, it is significantly softer than Criterion (which contrast is increase approx 15%), darker and lacks the sharpness in details, which one normally can expect of DVD.

 - Henrik Sylow

This very early non-anamorphic Criterion DVD looks very poor. One of their worst - no question. It is quite hazy with weak contrast. Like "Tokyo Drifter" if a pristine print - the transfer were done, it would be outstanding and more worthy of the Criterion branding. As it stands, this is for Seijun Suzuki aficionados and those keen on the genre.

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus

(Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. Sandrew Metronome - Region 0 - PAL RIGHT)
 

 

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


 

Criterion DVD image over Sandrew DVD to better detail missing information from Criterion's original release

 

 

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Sandrew Metronome - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Sandrew Metronome - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Sandrew Metronome - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Sandrew Metronome - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Sandrew Metronome - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Sandrew Metronome - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Sandrew Metronome - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


Included on the Arrow Blu-ray is Atsushi Yamatoya's 1973 Trapped in Lust - tech stats and captures below

 

Trapped in Lust [Aiyoku no wana] (1973)

Director: Atsushi Yamatoya

 

Runtime 1:13:31.448  
Video

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 42,936,750,462 bytes

Feature: 13,007,026,752 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.15 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Bitrate: Arrow "Trapped in Lust"

Blu-ray

Audio LPCM Audio Japanese 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, None

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

Screen Captures

 

Recommended Reading (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

Check out more in "The Library"


 

Box Cover

 

 

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 38 - Region 0 - NTSC

Sandrew Metronome

Region 0 - PAL

Criterion Collection Spine # 38

Region 'A'  - Blu-ray

Arrow Film

Region 'B'  - Blu-ray

 

 




 

Hit Counter

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!