Yakuza Wolf

狼やくざ 殺しは俺がやる | Yakuza Wolf: I Perform Murder
 •  , ,  •   • Dir.

Reviewed by   |  Feb 19, 2024

Fierce Yakuza action from the man Sonny Chiba, ‘Yakuza Wolf’ has lost none of its power as it dishes up a hard-hitting dose of violent action and in-your-face exploitation.

Chiba is Gosuke, a ruthless killer who has returned to Japan to avenge the death of his father at the hand of local gangs. While dishing out violent retribution he discovers the same gang that killed his father have now kidnapped his sister and forced her into drug-induced prostitution. Fuelling his vengeance even more, Gosuke sets out to find his sister, manipulating the gangs into fighting one another as he attempts to flush out where she has been taken.

Pulling no punches but dishing out many, ‘Yakuza Wolf’ is some hardcore gangster action. Chiba, bearded and bearing a striking resemblance to ‘The Man with No Name’, is a force of nature here both calm and cool, and capable of violent outbursts and revenge-fuelled justice. It’s a cool character for him to get his teeth into, a little more complex than he first appears as he gets to grips with what happened to his estranged father, what’s happening with his missing sister, and the feelings aroused by a local prostitute he takes up with. At the height of his Yakuza action tenancy, Chiba is great here as magnetic in the dramatic scenes as he is in the action ones.

The film is stuffed with violent action not least the opening ten minutes that sees Gosuke dispatch a villain mid coitus (!) and run another over with a car before segueing into a surfeit of hard-edged action, culminating in a fantastic gun fight. Blood, extreme violence, and dangerous stunts are all served up with aplomb with a Spaghetti Western feel ramping up the cool vibe. Yet for all the cool posing and fierce action, the exploitation element is also front and centre as there are some fairly graphic sex scenes, uncomfortable rape scenes, and the eye-opening scene of Gosuke making his way through a drug-induced lesbian orgy all on the agenda.

‘Yakuza Wolf’ is a dark film, and the various rape and exploitation elements can make for uncomfortable viewing but the commitment to the no holds barred Yakuza themed action makes for a tough but rewarding delve into the gangster world with Chiba at his cool best.

Eureka Entertainment will release ‘Yakuza Wolf 1 & 2’ on UK Blu-ray on February 19, 2024. You can order it now from Amazon.co.uk.
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