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BLU-RAY REVIEW: NIKKATSU DIAMOND GUYS VOL. 1

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Recently those sexy devils at Arrow Video and MVD sent the internet’s A-number one, ultra hip and cool film reviewer a copy of their new collection of stylish Japanese crime flicks; NIKKATSU DIAMOND GUYS VOL. 1. He plays golf on Thursdays so I’m going to review it.

So, yeah…crimes, this thing is packed fat with ’em. Spread out over three features, you get more than your fair share of up-to-no-goodery believe you me! Let’s just feast our lil’ peepers on some quick run-downs of the flicks contained within this plastic prison:

In Voice Without a Shadow a telephone operator has been haunted for years by the voice of a murderer she heard while on the job. Fast forward and her hubby’s new boss comes over for a lil’ grub and guess who his dulcet tones sound like kids?

Next up is Red Pier, a yarn concerning a gifted killer with the catchy moniker of Jiro The Lefty. Well ol’ J-man shouldn’t have “lefty” home the day he sees a fatal crane accident which in fact is the cover for one of those murders that are all the rage these days. Before you know it, Jiro is beatin’ feet all over town as a dogged cop is hot on his heels.

Finally comes The Rambling Guitarist, the tale of a street musician that gets wrapped up in some heavy mob shennanigans after he comes to the aid of a mobster in a bar fight. Oh well, pays more than busking that’s for sure; of course there’s a whole hell of a lot more to worry about than a busted guitar string…like a busted everything on your body when you fall in love with a mobster’s daughter.

Characterized by take no guff dudes with coolness to spare and a strong emphasis on more Western themes (instead of more traditional Japanese tales) of cinema, these flicks are a nice lil’ slice of how Japanese cinema would evolve into an avant-garde New Wave in the coming years.

Along with the films, this release also includes a bevy of extras I am far too lazy to type so will instead copy and paste:

High Definition digital transfers of all three films, from original film elements by Nikkatsu Corporation
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation
Original uncompressed mono audio
Newly translated English subtitles
Specially recorded video discussions with Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp on Diamond Guys Hideaki Nitani and Yujiro Ishihara
Original trailers for all three films and trailer preview for Diamond Guys Vol. 2
Extensive promotional image galleries for all three films
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
Booklet featuring new essays on all three films and director profiles by Stuart Galbraith, Tom Mes and Mark Schilling

Yup that’s a ton of bang for your buck (or yahoo for your yen perhaps). Still not convinced you need this in your life? Watch the trailer below, or rather you could if I could have found one, and if you imagine it tickles your murder bone head here to pre-order a copy today!

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