User Reviews (4)

Add a Review

  • When one billion yen goes AWOL, "Joe the Ace" (Jo Shishido) spies an opportunity to get rich quick, but things soon go wrong as it turns out he isn't the only one who'll stop at nothing to get his hands on the missing cash.

    This comes off at first like a spy thriller, maybe a sort of Japanese take on James Bond. But we soon find out it is a silly comedy with counterfeit currency and all sorts of almost slapstick moments. What the heck? This certainly expands my view of what Nikkatsu is all about, since I had them pigeon-holed as the "gangster film" company.

    I am still learning about these films, though. I should know the name Jo Shishido, but I know I will probably soon forget it. As a lover of cult film, I must confess that 1950s Japanese cinema is a huge hole in my knowledge.
  • I love Jo's movies. Danger Pays is a change of pace, a rare comedy with Jo playing a snappy con man trying to get his hands on a counterfeiting scheme. It's hilarious and Jo has flair for comedy. Well shot and edited with underworld characters and ditzy women right out of a comic strip.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    After picking up the first volume during their 2017 Easter sales,I was very happy to get hold of the second set in Arrow's Diamond Guys at the start of 2018. Learning of a 1960's challenge taking place on ICM,I decided that it was the perfect time to open this second box of diamonds.

    The plot:

    Learning of a new delivery of paper roll for the bank to print new notes, major gangster Hijikata gets his gang to steal the roll. Hearing on the news that the paper (if printed on) is worth 1.8 billion yen,all the local gangsters come out to locate the stolen roll,as HijiKata brings the world's best counterfeiter in.

    View on the film:

    Continuing on their presentation in the first set, Arrow present a sparkling transfer,dirt free,a clean soundtrack and easy to read Eng Subs.

    Brashly opening with a title track,director Kô Nakahira opens his heart on screen to his love of post-WWII (American inspired) Japanese culture, as Nakahira & cinematographer Shinsaku Himeda glaze the Nikkatsu screen in shimmering Pop-Art colours that run in ultra-stylised lighting giving the dangerous double-dealings a high stakes mood. Along with an eye-catching use of dissolves and side shots that allow for glossy group shots, Nakahira displays a sharp eye (and ear) for the use of effects to add to a Comedy punch-line,via wacky sound effects giving the dialogue an added bounce, and the speeding up of the film speed adding to the breakneck speed of the crime.

    Bringing the crime genre home by having a victim found dead outside Nikkatsu Studios,the screenplay by Ichirô Ikeda/Michio Tsuzuki and Tadaaki Yamazaki brilliantly keep the forgery job serious,but find hilarity in how far everyone goes to get their hands on the prints-which leads to a twist ending that "winks" at the viewer. Passing the counterfeiter around like a human pass the parcel, the writers twist the hard-nose Nikkatsu "Diamond Guys" image into a lightning fast zany Comedy caper,lit by all the tough gangsters being given very funny quirks such as the fearing of glass Glass-Hearted Jo (played by a terrific Jô Shishido) and the sick at the sight of death Tomoko Akiyama, (played by a sassy Ruriko Asaoka)who all learn that danger's where the money is.
  • What a deception this movie which I believed at first to be a fierce and violent crime flick from Japan, in the kind of films made by the likes of Kinji Fukasaku. Yes, what a mess this tale of counterfeiters that remains more a comedy than anything else. The copy was top quality, no question about that. But the story is horrible, the characters terrible, only a gunfight scene in an elevator shaft is nearly worth. Nearly. This director is the same who made the feature commented just before. This guy is definitely not Kinji Fukasaku.

    Forget it folks. Anyway it seems to be very hard to get it. The best would be it to remain this way.