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Assigned a standard Yakuza film in the hardboiled vein pioneered at Japanís famed Nikkatsu Studios, director Seijun Suzuki (Branded to Kill) and his frequent leading man Jo Shishido used 1963ís Detective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell Bastards! to flip the Japanese gangster film genre on its ear. A rapid fire gun heist, credits with an infectious jazz pop score, and a wide-screen close-up of a burning car announce Detective Bureau 2-3 as the film that would both lampoon and redefine Asian crime films for an irreverent new decade of garish panache and ultra-violent cool. The story follows police detective Tajima (Shishido), who, tasked with tracking down stolen firearms, turns an underworld grudge into a bloodbath -- while Suzuki transforms a colorful potboiler into an on-target send-up of cultural colonialism and post-war greed. ďThis isnít an American TV series,Ē one of Tajimaís doubting subordinates tells the sharkskin-suited, super suave sleuth. Anarchic, breakneck paced, darkly comic, and stylish to the extreme, Detective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell Bastards! was a movie unlike anything audiences had ever seen. It would cement Suzukiís fervent popularity at home and heralded his imminent cult status worldwide.

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KI6352 Detective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell Bastards! DVD (1963/Seijun Suzuki) $29.95 $26.99