Official and unofficial Criterion announcements having been rolling in since our last “Trailer Tuesday” and fans of the Collection are naturally excited for Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927), Nicholas Ray’s They Live by Night (1948), and Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker (1979). They’re certainly great movies by celebrated directors, but MMC! will take a moment to praise the teased addition of Albert Brooks’ Lost in America (1985), a film that I saw for the first time a few years ago, introduced by Kid in the Hall Kevin McDonald, and that has been fixture on my own proposal list for some time. There are plenty of other great films by Brooks that could bear a wacky “C” and so hopefully we’ll find an opportunity to stump for one of those other titles soon.
KINJI FUKASAKU’S ODE TO AUTOMOTIVE ANARCHY
Acclaimed Japanese director Kinji Fukasaku breaks free from his iconic yakuza films with Violent Panic: The Big Crash, a deliriously wild ride through Japanese and American exploitation cinema. Takashi Yamanaki (Tsunehiko Watase) and his partner tear across Japan committing daring, daylight bank-robberies in hopes of eventually escaping to Brazil, but when his partner is killed escaping from a heist, Takashi finds himself on the run as a wanted man. Standing between him and his getaway to South America is a beautiful woman in love with him (Miki Sugimoto), his partner’s vicious brother (Hideo Murota), an ill-tempered cop (Takuzo Kawatani), and every news truck, motorcycle gang, and delivery driver that crosses their path. Violent Panic crashes cult film genres (sex comedy, crime, erotic horror, carsploitation) into Fukasaku’s trademark handheld cinematography to create an irreverently careening caper flick, culminating with an outrageous multi-vehicle demolition derby that must be seen to be believed!
Fans of Japan’s master of gangster cinema will recognize Fukasaku’s unique storytelling and visual style, but Violent Panic contains a madcap spontaneity that is wantonly cartoonish and uncharacteristic to the director’s better known works. Fun, frothy, and fierce, Violent Panic: The Big Crash is a cult film spectacle that pulls out all the stops.
- New High Definition digital transfer
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation
- Newly translated English subtitles
- New interview with star Tsunehiko Watase
- Interview with Fukasaku biographer, Yamane Sadao
- Original trailer
- Reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork
- Booklet by critic and scholar Tom Mes of Midnight Eye, illustrated with original stills and new artwork