Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 26th, 2008
Theatrical Release Dates: Japan, 2003
Director: Atsushi Muroga
Cast: Kasumi Nakane, Mitsuho Ohtani, Yasukaze Motomiya, Kenichi Ishii, Salah Soltane, James Scott, Junichi Haruta, Hiromitsu Kiba, Yoshinobu Shigemura, Yuuki Tanaka, Jin Nakayama, Hiroshi Fuse (Traitor’s Rhapsody), Natuski Kato, Fumina Hara, Shu Ehara, Hideto Katsuya, Santi Larruari, Ryuji Katagiri, Rika Uesugi, Romy Romulo, Ken Teraizumi, Seiji Matano (Requiem For A Bodyguard)
DVD released: August 19th, 2008
Approximate running time: 71 minutes (Traitor’s Rhapsody), 71 minutes (Requiem For A Bodyguard)
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (Both Films)
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Japanese
DVD Release: Media Blasters/Tokyo Shock
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.99
Requiem For A Bodyguard: When Eri the daughter of wealthy businessman is kidnapped and his company refuses to pay ransom. He decides to take matters into his own hands by selling off his assets. When he becomes ill and is unable to meet the kidnappers’ ransom demands. Miki a friend of his daughter hires mercenaries who help her track down and rescue Eri.
Traitor’s Rhapsody and Requiem for a Bodyguard were directed by Atsushi Muroga who also directed Gun Crazy: A Woman from Nowhere, Gun Crazy: Beyond the Law and Junk. Visually, plot and structure wise Traitor’s Rhapsody and Requiem for a Bodyguard are variations on same theme. The plot for each film while predictable they are a lot of fun and the action / shootout sequences are well done.
The main focus of each film centers around a female character whose naivety puts them in danger and their eventual journey transforms them into a confident person now in control of their lives. Story wise Traitor’s Rhapsody is the more interesting of the two stories as is shows the evolution of Aki a rookie policewoman whose father is a prominent figure in law enforcement. Traitor’s Rhapsody greatest strength is Aki’s scenes where she interacts with Shirai a washed up detective. The story for Requiem for a Bodyguard is not as compelling since Miki and those around here come off as one dimensional.
Each film features a solid performance from their lead actress, Kasumi Nakane as Aki and Natuski Katoh as Miki. The rest of performances are more than adequate in furthering the stories at hand. The most memorable performance in either film is Hiroshi Fuse who plays a drunken detective named Shirai in Traitor’s Rhapsody. Ultimately Traitor’s Rhapsody and Requiem for a Bodyguard are two well made direct to video action flicks, that never stray too far away from their strength (girls with guns).
Tokyo Shock has given both, Traitor’s Rhapsody and Requiem for a Bodyguard anamorphic widescreen presentations that preserves their original aspect ratios. Both transfers are clean, colors look nicely saturated and details look sharp throughout. The one down side is that both are not flagged for progressive playback. Even though these two transfers are interlaced there are no major issues with ghosting or blurring.
Both films each come with one audio option a Dolby Digital stereo mi x in Japanese and English subtitles have been included. Both audio mixes sounds crystal clear and at times robust. Extras for both releases are limited to trailers for films that are also available on DVD from Tokyo Shock. Overall Gun Crazy: Traitor’s Rhapsody / Requiem for a Bodyguard double feature is an affordable re-release of two titles that Tokyo Shock had previously released separately.