With 1968’s Retaliation, director Yasuharu Hasebe (Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter) reunites with the inimitable JÃ´ Shishido (Branded to Kill, Youth of the Beast) for a follow up to their 1967 yakuza hit Massacre Gun.
A tale of gang warfare in Japan, Retaliation stars Akira Kobayashi (Battles Without Honor and Humanity, The Flowers and the Angry Waves) as Jiro Sagae, a yakuza lieutenant who returns from prison to find his gang dispersed and his aging boss in his deathbed.
Shishido stars as Hino, a rival of Jiro who is waiting for the opportune time to kill him, and Meiko Kaji (Lady Snowblood) appears as Saeko Hayafune, a young girl caught in the crossfire.
Available on restored high-definition Blu-ray (1080p) for the first time, Arrow Video’s special edition release is limited to only 3000 copies! Retaliation is as gritty as it is cynical, a hard-boiled precursor to the revisionist yakuza films of the ’70s.
From the golden age of Nakkatsu films, Retalation is sleek, stylish and violent in a visceral, uncomfortable way. The film features great music and brilliant performances – a forgotten classic that deserves to be seen. Luckily Arrow Video has delivered a Criterion-worthy release, packed with special features and a fantastic high-definition transfer.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Arrow Video, they’re one of the UK’s leading independent distributors of world cinema, arthouse, horror, and classic films. A few months ago they launched a successful crowdfunding campaign to expand to North America, much to the delight of cult film fans who previously had to import their top-notch releases. In addition to Retaliation, Arrow Video recently released the aforementioned Massacre Gun as well.
Arrow’s limited edition release includes exclusive new interviews with star JÃ´ Shishido and an extensive study of both Hasebe and Shishido’s careers by critic and historian Tony Rayns. The package also features a trailer, gallery and a reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork by Ian MacEwan. There’s also a fantastic booklet that includes new writing on the film by Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp, illustrated throughout by MacEwan.
Overall, this is a must-own for fans of Japanese cinema. With only a handful of US releases so far, Arrow Video is quickly climbing to the top of the film distribution ladder. Like Scream Factory and Grindhouse Releasing, Arrow Video is building a catalog of cult classics that rivals Criterion Collection in presentation and engaging content. Check out a full list of bonus materials and the film’s theatrical trailer below!
Special Edition Features
* Original uncompressed mono PCM audio
* NEW translated English subtitles
* NEW interview with star JÃ´ Shishido
* Interview with renowned critic and historian Tony Rayns
* Original theatrical trailer
* Gallery featuring rare promotional images
* Reversible sleeve featuring original and new artwork by Ian MacEwan
* Booklet featuring new writing by Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp, illustrated by Ian MacEwan and featuring original archive stills