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Issue #114a HOME E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com BACK ISSUES July 1st, 2002

Wild Criminal
(1999; Vision Sugimoto / Maxam)

A Masterpiece
Highly Recommended
Very Good
Marginal Recommendation
Not Recommended
Definitely Not Recommended

After making off with his bosses' stock certificates, Seijinkai yakuza Udo (Riki Takeuchi, he of the perpetual sneer and indestructible hair) searches for buyers. Udo's woman, Tomoyo (Aya Nakamura; click here for still), has taken up with his former boss, Suwa, but is actually still in love with Udo and supplies him with information about Suwa's activities. Also keeping an eye on the Seijinkai is tough girl Yuki (Miho Nomoto, sporting a blonde wig), who strikes up an uneasy partnership with Tomoyo. Udo's attempts to sell the goods through a middleman fail, thanks to the intervention of another gang, and Suwa believes that Tomoyo has betrayed him. However, she is able to convince him otherwise, as part of a plot concocted by Yuki to ruin Suwa. However, Yuki also has plans which may force her and Tomoyo into a lethal confrontation.

Aside from a couple of nice twists during the final reel, this is a conventionally plotted but reasonably engrossing gangster yarn. The director (credited in both the English and Japanese credits as simply "Hide") and cinematographer Yoichi Ogawa are able to include a few interesting compositions but the film's low budget is in evidence via the small cast and limited (but fairly interesting) locations. The inevitable attraction between Yuki and Tomoyo clearly arises from convention, rather than as the result of mutual admiration or, even, a convincing degree of animalistic lust between them (as it turns out, nothing is done with this plot aside anyway). The narrative is also periodically interrupted by odd, commercial-ready fadeouts, and the continuity is ramshackle (Tomoyo is constantly getting punched in the face but always looks impeccable in the next scene -- these yakuza women are tough!). While blonde hair does not really become her, Nomoto (click here for still -- nudity) is used very effectively; little is proffered in the way of background for her character but the writer and director probably knew that was not necessary if their lead could dominate the screen. She does and the movie passes muster as a result. Shun Sugata co-stars, and Chieko Shiratori can be glimpsed briefly as a casino dealer.

Cover art courtesy Media Blasters.

Miho Nomoto. Image courtesy Media Blasters.

Riki Takeuchi. Image courtesy Media Blasters.
Media Blasters/Tokyo Shock #TSDVD-0209 (U.S. Label)

Dolby Digital 2.0

Sync Sound Japanese and Dubbed English Language Tracks

Optional Subtitles In English

16 Chapters Illustrated In the Menu With (Tiny) Stills

Letterboxed (1.95:1)

Coded for Region 1 Only

83 Minutes

Contains brutal violence, sexual violence, nudity, and coarse language

DVD menu courtesy Media Blasters.

Not Available


WILD CRIMINAL was shot on film, and looks a bit dark here and there, but the transfer is passable. The sound mix is basic but reasonably forceful (the disc defaults to an awful English dubbed version that is not even worth considering). Video promos spots for BLOOD, SCORE, BLACK ANGEL, and SCORPION make up the extras.

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