Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 24th, 2017
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 1972
Alternate Title: Ôkami yakuza: Koroshi ha ore ga yaru
Approximate running time: 87 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen
Director: Ryuichi Takamori
Writer: Fumio Kônami
Composer: Toshiaki Tsushima
Cast: Sonny Chiba, Hideo Murota, Kôji Nanbara, Makoto Satô, Yayoi Watanabe
Synopsis: The son of a murder crime boss exacts his revenge by pitting two rival clans against each other.
Yakuza Wolf: I Perform Murder was directed by Ryuichi Takamori who’s other notable films include, Yakkuza Deka: Poison Gas Terror, Yakuza Deka: Graves and Bodyguard Kiba (Japanese Version of The Bodyguard).
Key Collaborators on Yakuza Wolf: I Perform Murder include, screenwriter Fumio Kônami (Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41, Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs) and composer Toshiaki Tsushima (Battles Without Honor and Humanity, The Streetfighter).
At the center of the mayhem is Junior, who’s murdered father was the leader of the Himuro clan. It has been five years since he has seen his family. He went to Okinawa to make it on his own. He has returned town to avenge his father’s death and find his sister Kyoko. Knowing that one man cannot take down two clans singlehandedly. He concocts a plan that pits that Onama clan who killed father against the Koyu-Kai clan who turned his sister Kyoko into a junkie sex slave.
Content wise, this film lays somewhere in-between Battles Without Honor and Humanity series and The Street Fighter Trilogy. Other influences include, Yojimbo and the Spaghetti western genre, most notable Django. The film’s premise is well executed and the narrative is perfectly paced with each violent outburst given an ample amount of time to resonate.
Performance wise the cast are very good in their respective roles. With this film’s standout performance being Sonny Chiba in the role of Junior, the estranged son of a murder Yakuza boss. Chiba’s portrays a character that is in line with Vigilante characters that dominated crime cinema from the 1970’s. Another performance of note is Yayoi Watanabe (Girl Boss Blues: Queen Bee’s Counterattack, Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion) in the role of Junior’s sister Kyoko. Though her screen time is limited, she still delivers a powerful performance that make’s Junior’s quest for vengeance all the more potent.
Another strength of this film are its visuals, which do not miss a beat when it comes to exploiting every moment of sleaze and bloodletting. Standout moments visually include, the scene where Junior rescues his sister from an opium sex den. Other stand moments include, a scene where Izumi the boss of the Koyu-Kai clan has his kidnapped daughter returned in a Christ like pose in the back of a dump truck. And the film’s final where Junior is forced to come up with an inventive way to shoot his gun, after both of his hands have been broken.