New Edition
Battles Without Honor and Humanity Blu-ray
Action / Thriller / Crime



Battles Without Honor and Humanity

Kinji Fukasaku (Battle Royale) gave the world Japan’s answer to The Godfather with this violent yakuza saga, influencing filmmakers from Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs) to Takashi Miike (Graveyard of Honor, Audition). Made within just two years, the five-film series brought a new kind of realism and ferocity to the crime genre in Japan, revitalising the industry and leading to unprecedented commercial and critical success.

Literally exploding on screen with a mushroom cloud, and ending with Hiroshima’s A-bomb Dome, the epic story of Battles Without Honour and Humanity follows over 100 characters through twenty years of gang wars, alliances, betrayals, and assassinations, in an exciting exploration of criminal power and politics in Japan. In the opening episode, ex-soldier Shôzô Hirono escapes from the post-war black markets to become a key member of the Yamamori gang, but soon finds himself disillusioned by the selfish duplicity of his bosses. Hiroshima Death Match focuses on a demobilised kamikaze pilot drifting through the early 1950s, whose suicidal impulses find good use as a mob assassin. Proxy War and Police Tactics form a labyrinthine, two-part story of ambition and betrayal set against Japan’s rapid economic growth of the 1960s, with Shôzô caught between warring factions. Final Episode concludes the series in the 1970s as the former Yamamori gang transforms itself into an economic conglomerate called the Tensei Group, in a bid for mainstream respectability.

Fukasaku and his team broke with the longstanding studio tradition of casting marquee idols as honourable, kimono-clad heroes, defending their gang bosses against unscrupulous villains, and instead adapted true accounts torn from the headlines, shot in a documentary-like style, and with few clear-cut heroes or villains. The vibrancy and dynamism of the filmmaking, plus its shocking violence, Shakespearean plotlines, and wide tapestry of characters, launched a revolutionary new genre, establishing the series as one of the great masterpieces of world crime cinema.

Production Year: 1973
Region Code: B
UK Rating: 18
Running Time: 99 / 100 / 102 / 101 / 98 mins Total: 500 mins
Number of Discs: 5
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English
Audio: Mono 1.0
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Colour: Colour
TITLE NAME
Director Kinji Fukasaku
Cast Bunta Sugawara
Cast Sonny Chiba
Cast Akira Kobayashi
Cast Tatsuo Umemiya
Cast Seizo Fukumoto

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:

  • High Definition Blu-ray™ (1080p) presentation of all five original films
  • Original Mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-rays)
  • Optional English subtitles for all five films
  • Reversible sleeves featuring newly commissioned artwork by Reinhard Kleist

DISC 1: BATTLES WITHOUT HONOR AND HUMANITY

  • Audio commentary by critic and author Stuart Galbraith IV
  • Yakuza Graveyard – an interview with Takashi Miike about Kinji Fukasaku and the yakuza film genre
  • Original trailers for all five films

DISC 2: HIROSHIMA DEATH MATCH

  • Man of Action – an interview with series fight choreographer Ryūzō Ueno
  • Original Trailer

DISC 3: PROXY WAR

  • Secrets of the Piranha Army – a documentary about the troupe of supporting actors who appeared throughout the series, featuring interviews with original Piranha members Masaru Shiga and Takashi Noguchi, plus second-generation Piranha, Takashi Nishina and Akira Murota
  • Tales of a Bit Player – an interview with supporting actor and stuntman Seizô Fukumoto
  • Original Trailer

DISC 4: POLICE TACTICS

  • Remembering Kinji – a featurette about director Kinji Fukasaku and his work, featuring interviews with Kenta Fukasaku and film critic and Fukasaku biographer Sadao Yamane
  • Fukasaku Family – an interview with Proxy War and Police Tactics assistant director Tôru Dobashi
  • Original Trailer

DISC 5: FINAL EPISODE

  • Last Days of the Boss – an interview with Final Episode screenwriter Kôji Takada
  • Original poster gallery for the series
  • Original Trailer

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