A lightning-paced 60’s crime film from Japan’s Nikkatsu Studios, Three Seconds to Explosion packs enough subterfuge and action into its 84 volatile minutes to fill out a dozen pictures made anywhere else.
“I like shady dealings,” purrs undercover superspy Yabuki (Akira Kobayashi – The Yakuza Papers) en route to infiltrating a sadistic, trigger-happy gang of international jewel thieves. Gone renegade from the shadowy espionage bureau that honed his killer instincts to a razor’s edge, the implacable Yabuki teams up with fellow mercenary crime fighter Yamawaki (Hideki Takahashi – Fighting Elegy). Together, they follow a trail of stolen gems leading from the final days of WWII to a contemporary conspiracy that reaches into the highest corridors of corporate power and nefarious international villainy.
A widescreen whirlwind of sharkskin thread, revenge-crazed assassins, ticking time bombs, deadly booby traps, and triple-crossing lingerie-clad femme fatales, Three Seconds to Explosion connects Nikkatsu’s “mood action” yakuza gangster films of the 50’s and 60’s to the studio’s subsequent kinky 70’s “pink films,” and is a primer in the tough, super-cool world of “no borders” exploitation cinema Nikkatsu style.