In Japan, we hear, Kill Bill Vol. 1 is dedicated to Kinji Fukasaku. What the fuka-who? The cult director figure of 60 films, Fukasaku died last January. Despite BAM’s sold-out screenings of his 2000 swan song, Battle Royale, no Fukasaku film since his atypical Message From Space (1978) has had an American release. To sample his oeuvre, try Mondo Kim’s (6 St. Marks Place) and tell them the old clerk Quentin sent you. Spotted on the shelves: Battles Without Honor and Humanity (1973), Cops vs. Thugs (1975), Graveyard of Honor and Humanity (1975), Legend of Eight Samurai (1983), Modern Yakuza (1969), Sure Death Revenge (1987), and Yagyu Conspiracy (1978), with Sonny Chiba, on DVD; Battle Royale, Black Rose Mansion (1969), Message From Space, Triple Cross (1992), and Yakuza Graveyard (1976) on both DVD and DV (dubious video); Black Lizard (1968), Green Slime (1968), Samurai Reincarnation (1981), Virus (1980), Doberman Cop (1977), and Fight Without Honor, parts 1 through 8 (1973-76) on DV only (the last two sans subtitles). For those who prefer the big screen, Fukasaku’s 1968 Blackmail Is My Life screens at the Japan Society on October 27.
Research assistance: Ben Kenigsberg and Danu Mandlsohn
J. Hoberman’s review of Kill Bill Vol. 1