Massacre Gun

Minagoroshi no kenju

dir. Yasuharu Hasebe

TIFF Cinematheque - Retrospective

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A mob hitman recruits his two brothers to help take on his former employers in this super-tough gangster classic.
One of three classic gangster films that Nikkatsu superstar Joe Shishido made for the studio in 1967 — the other two, Branded to Kill and A Colt Is My Passport, are also screening in this series — Massacre Gun (also known as Slaughter Gun) has scarcely been seen in the West, so tonight's screening is a rare treat. Shishido plays mob hitman Ryuichi, who turns on his employers after they force him to kill his own lover. Teaming up with his two brothers, hot-headed club owner Eiji and aspiring boxer Saburo — each of whom have their own beefs with the mob — Ryuichi declares war on his former masters, leading to a bloody showdown on a deserted highway. Making his third film for Nikkatsu, future sexploitation specialist Yasuharu Hasebe delivers plenty of hard-boiled noir atmosphere and keeps the tension simmering until it finally explodes in an orgy of violence.