Five Yakuza Movies You Must See…

Five Yakuza Movies You Must See…

…before you cut your pinkie off! With Yakuza 3 coming out in North America and Yakuza 4 coming out in Japan, is there a better time to talk about Japanese gangsters? No, no there isn’t.

These films are grounded in yakuza mythos, fantasy and, yes, fact. And like Hollywood mobster films, these motion pictures have even influenced the way yakuza act.

Otaku USA Editor-in-Chief Patrick Macias, who will be giving a presentation at the SEGA co-sponsored Yakuza 3 event in San Francisco, have provided five of his favourite yakuza flicks as well as short blurbs about the films to hopefully pique your interest:

Brutal Tales of Chivalry (Showa Zankyoden, 1965)

Street Mobster (Gendai Yakuza – Hito-kiri Yota, 1972)

Battles Without honour & Humanity (Jingi-naki tatakai, 1973) — “Director Kinji Fukasaku (later to helm Battle Royale) kicks off an epic, bleak, and unrepentantly violent tapestry of post-war yakuza history, inspired by real-life events. See all five ‘Battles’ films for full ‘Godfather Saga’ effect.”

The Tattooed Hit Man (Yamaguchi-gumi gaiden: Kyushu shinko-sakusen, 1976)

Dead or Alive (1999)

So if Yakuza 3 (or 4 for that matter) doesn’t quite quench your thirst for dirty scowls for guys speaking guttural Japanese or if it simply leaves you hankering for more gangster action, do check out these films. And if you’ve already seen them, watch them again!

Those in the San Francisco area can check out Patrick Macias in person on March 5 at the area’s VIZ Cinema. More details here.


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