13 November 2017 | Michael_Elliott
Enough Good Moments to Make It Worth Watching
Massacre Gun (1967)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
Mob hit-man Ryuichi Kuroda (Jo Shishido) is forced to execute the woman he loves. This causes his brother Saburo (Jiro Okazaki) to stand up to the mob boss and soon his hands are smashed, which isn't good considering he's a boxer. This here sets Kuroda off and before long a gang war breaks out.
MASSACRE GUN is a somewhat interesting Japanese film that manages to play out like a film noir while working in new elements of the Yajuza story. To say this film is a complete success would be a lie but there's no question that it contains some very interesting moments that make it worth watching if you're a fan of the genre.
The highlight of the film is a terrific sequence where a character is trying to escape a hit and think he has made a getaway only to realize that he's trapped up against a wall surrounded by men with gun. This sequence was perfectly executed and you can't help but think that this was inspired by the bloody finale of BONNIE AND CLYDE but it appears both films were released the same month! The style of the film is also something worth noting and especially how crisp the B&W cinematography is. The music score is also another major plus.
For the most part the performances were very good with both Shishido and Okazaki standing out. With all of that said, MASSACRE GUN does have some major problems including the actual story, which just seems a bit too light for its own good. I'd also argue that some of the pacing was off because even at just 89-minutes there are moments where the film really drags. The film had a somewhat hard time holding my attention whenever there wasn't an action scene taking place.
Still, MASSACRE GUN has enough good moments to make it worth sitting through.