After the tawdry double suicide of a detective and his call-girl mistress, tough-guy debt collector and ex-cop Mizuno (Shishido) infiltrates two vicious local gangs, using a combination of muscle and cheeky, pistol-brandishing bravado. Then he begins to play each boss against the other, setting them both up for a downfall. But what is Mizuno’s real agenda? And what’s his connection to Mrs. Takeshita (Watanabe), the widowed proprietor of a knitting school?
Why we love it
An audacious early outing from cult Japanese director Suzuki and the Nikkatsu studio, "Beast" is a hip, pulp-gangster flick with a twisty revenge plot involving murder, dope, go-go dancers, and salacious double crosses. (One kingpin even has a gay brother who slashes the face of anyone mentioning his mother!) With its surreal color palette, bizarre set pieces, and rapid cuts, the film has a unique visual flair-not to mention a killer crime-jazz score. And as the cop-turned-crook out for payback, Shishido is as hard-boiled as they come. For a lurid spin on the yakuza genre, unleash the "Beast."