Monday, May 18, 2009

Two more Outcast jobs hit the street

Streeting tomorrow are two new DVDs from Synapse Films, the first Toei productions starring Meiko Kaji, Wandering Ginza Butterfly and its sequel, Wandering Ginza Butterfly 2: She-Cat Gambler. (We did a bit of creative editing on the title to the latter (no #2 in the original Japanese), but that's mainly to make it easier to handle the discs at U.S. retailers.)

Though my relationship with parent company Synapse has unfortunately soured (due to some unwarranted penny-strangling on the part of their financial chieftain), I'm proud of these discs and hope that classic Japanese cinema fans give them a try. The film transfers are top-notch, and entirely due to the efforts of Synapse tech and creative guy Don May, Jr. Neither film has seen a release in Japan except on VHS, so these represent the best versions available worldwide at the moment. I'm willing to bet I see a ton of these on sale at Shinjuku Disc Union in Tokyo the next time I'm there.

The extras are also pretty good, if I say so myself. We interviewed Pinky Violence expert J-Taro Sugisaku way back in November 2007, and a short piece with him appears on the second of the
Ginza discs, where he talks about the appeal of star Meiko Kaji.

Appearing on both discs is a lengthy interview with series director Kazuhiko Yamaguchi, one of the shining B-stars of the Toei universe, responsible for all the films in the
Delinquent Girl Boss and Sister Street Fighter series, not to mention Sonny Chiba's Karate for Life movies, and various other genre classics. Yamaguchi talked at length about working with Chiba, Kaji, Etsuko Shiomi, American porn star Sharon Kelly, Reiko Oshida, and others, and the interview is a treasure trove of stories for fans of classic Japanese exploitation. Want to know about the genesis of the Female Convict Scorpion series? You can learn about it here.

Both discs also feature the usual trailers, poster galleries, biographies, and other goodies, plus the first disc features an informative audio commentary by Japanese film expert Chris D., where he talks about Kaji's career, Toei's reputation in the early 1970s, director Yamaguchi, and all the minor character actors appearing throughout both films.
Hours of entertainment await - what are you still sitting in front of your computer for? Get out there and buy them!


Blogger Aria said...

I could seriously hug you guys! Can't wait to watch that DVD ;-)

5:42 AM  
Blogger SPM said...

can't wait to get my mits on pt.2. sweet!

5:55 PM  

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