MOVIE SERIES REVIEW: Battles Without Honor and Humanity (1973–1974)

Thinking on all his dead brothers, Hirono mulls retiring from the yakuza lifestyle.
He may be a gangster, but she’s DONE with the BS.
A yakuza attack on two rival members from the series.
  • Legendary actor Sonny Chiba shows up in Hiroshima Death Battles and Proxy War. That is all.
  • These movies make yakuza look like they have Imperial Stormtrooper marksmanship skills. Yes, I know the majority of the guns the yakuza made during the post-war period were hand-crafted and inaccurate, which would contribute to the poor marksmanship.
  • To all you yakuza ladies out there: we see you, and we appreciate you for what you do and put up with.
  • It’s not enough to shoot at a man once, you gotta shoot at him many times to make sure he’s dead. Even then, you might not hit anything.
  • You cannot look for the lavish funeral to tell you when the movie is over; sometimes the funeral happens at the beginning or in the middle.
  • So many scenes take place on the street for the action, while the indoor scenes for yakuza meetings are banal to a degree where I am glad I don’t understand Japanese — reading the subtitles kept me awake.
  • Though lively street scenes were present, there were no signs of Japanese festivals or celebration — just the long march of death and violence that takes place between the films.
  • I am aware there’s another film directed by Kinji Fukasaku in the series (New Battles Without Honor or Humanity), and several sequels not directed by Fukasaku afterward stretching between 1974 and 2003. I did not watch them for this review.

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Shaun Watson

Shaun Watson

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Writing from a need to get my notes from Facebook to a place where someone can see them, I hope you like my stuff.