• Yakuza’s Law - Lynching

    Released by: Japan Shock
    Released on: 9/25/2003
    Director: Teruo Ishii
    Cast: N/A
    Released: 1969

    The Movie:

    Yakuza’s Law – Lynching has a pretty solid reputation as one of the nastiest Yakzua films to come out of Japan ever. While more modern fare like Takashi Miike’s Ichi The Killer may have upped the ante in recent times in regards to what is actually shown on screen, this trilogy of sadism still manages to be unnerving and disturbing over thirty years since it was made.

    The basic premise of the film is that each of the three stories – one set in the feudal period, one around the time of the first world war, and one in the late sixties – teaches you what happens to those who break the specific and strictly enforced code of the Yakuza. Telling you what sections of the code are broken in each story would do nothing but spoil the film, as once you know that you can more or less put together what happens in each of the segments, but let it suffice to say that those who disobey their bosses and go against the law of the Yakuza don’t often find themselves in a very happy place afterwards. In essence, if you’re going to mess around with Japanese mobsters, you’d better keep your mouth shut, your wallet honest, and your hands off of your brethren’s wives.

    Directed with a reasonable amount of flair by Teruo Ishii (who helmed The Street Fighters Last Revenge and Shogun’s Sadism), the movie sets up each of its three stories with some basic plot devices and then proceeds to dole out the punishment by the bucketful. Yakuza’s Law reaches Fulci-esque levels of gore and violence as assorted lawbreakers are branded, shot, beaten, pissed on, burned, and even crushed while the camera lingers and zooms accordingly. There’s also an abundance of eye gouging in this film, something that would make old Lucio blush with envy I’m sure, including a fantastic ocular removal by sword set piece that, despite some obvious latex effects work, is still a little wince inducing.

    Yakzua movie superstar Bunta Sugawara (of The Yakuza Papers and The Tattooed Hitman) has an appearance in the film, standing alongside Minoro Ohke (who played one of the Masters Of Death in the Lone Wolf And Cub films) and Hiroshi Miyashi (of Sister Streetfighter).


    The non anamorphic 1.85.1 image looks like it was culled from a tape source. There are a couple of spots where if you’re paying attention you’ll notice what appear to be some brief tape rolls. That being said, the image is reasonably clean and while the picture is a little soft and the colors a little bit faded, it is perfectly watchable – just hardly exceptional.

    This DVD features audio tracks in Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, German Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono and German Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Optional subtitles are available in English, Dutch and German. There’s some mild background hiss present throughout pretty much the entire film but thankfully it’s just barely there. The films interesting and catchy score and the dialogue come through with a moderate amount of clarity, even if it isn’t crystal clear.

    The DVD comes packaged in a nice slipcase with a postcard set inside. On the actual DVD itself, you’ll find trailers for Yakzua’s Law, Joy Of Torture, Shogun’s Sadism, and Zero Woman – Red Handcuffs.

    The Final Word:

    While it isn’t a perfect presentation by any stretch of the word, Yakuza’s Law is an interesting and nasty little film with three very different takes on punishment. It combines some decent stories with some nasty bloodshed and makes for an entertaining, if sleazy, viewing experience.