Well, there goes this weeks paycheck. Criterions budget DVD imprint Eclipse has proved to be a cash-strapped cinejunkies boon (or curse), issuing affordable no-frills multi-disc collections devoted to the early films of Samuel Fuller, the musicals of Ernst Lubitsch, the historical telefilms of Roberto Rossellini, and other collectibles. With this five-film survey of the Japanese studio Nikkatsus point-blank black-and-white crime thrillers of the late 1950s and mid 60s, Eclipse offers stateside viewers a first crack at fabled gems such as Seijun Suzukis Take Aim at the Police Van, Takumi Furukawas Cruel Gun Story and Takashi Nomuras A Colt Is My Passport. In his rock-em-sock-em liner notes, Nashville-based critic and Asian-cinema authority Chuck Stephens describes the films as a borderless B-movie blend of homegrown melodrama and cosmopolitan mayhem, pop art va-vavoom and pulpy tough-guy pow! that would dominate Far Eastern genre cinema for more than a decade to come. If that aint an incentive to peddle some plasma, I dont know what is. Retail price: $69.95.
Mondays-Sundays. Starts: Sept. 7. Continues through Sept. 13, 2009