MYSTERY DATE
1991, Park Circus/MGM, 97 min, USA, Dir: Jonathan Wacks

Tom (Ethan Hawke) pines for his neighbor’s beautiful housesitter, Geena (Teri Polo), but doesn’t have the courage to tell her until his older brother shows up unexpectedly to make his dreams come true. Given a fancy car, cash and the ideal date itinerary, Tom is now ready to take Geena on the perfect date. What Tom doesn’t know is that his brother has been living a life of crime; when it spills over into Tom’s evening, he and Geena must avoid killers, carnage and mosh pits if they want to survive to see a second date.


TOKYO DRIFTER
TÔKYÔ NAGAREMONO
1966, Janus Films, 82 min, Japan, Dir: Seijun Suzuki

In this jazzy gangster film, reformed killer Tetsu’s attempt to go straight is thwarted when his former cohorts call him back to Tokyo to help battle a rival gang. Director Seijun Suzuki’s onslaught of stylized violence and trippy colors is equal parts Russ Meyer, Samuel Fuller and Nagisa Oshima - an anything-goes, in-your-face rampage. TOKYO DRIFTER is a delirious highlight of the brilliantly excessive Japanese cinema of the 1960s.


BRANDED TO KILL
KOROSHI NO RAKUIN
1967, Janus Films, 91 min, Japan, Dir: Seijun Suzuki

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 1960s pop-art aesthetic.


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