Sunday, February 12, 2006

True Confessions of a V-Man: Crime Hunter, or Pop Goes the V-Cherry.

In 1989 Toei Video launched its V-cinema series; the first ever outlet for straight-to-video distribution in Japan. The launch title for Toei Video's new venture was Crime Hunter. This is its true story.

Crime Hunter
was the brain-child of writer, director, gun-fanatic, and soon-to-be prolific V-cinema producer Toshimichi "Shundo" Ohkawa. Previous to Crime Hunter he was a writer on the popular Abunai Deka series. Nowadays, he's probably best known for directing the ultra-bad Riki classic The Yakuza Way, and for producing Atsushi Muroga's V-classic Score. While his record has been spotty over the years, he most definitely deserves a spot in the V-cinema Hall of Fame (or shame) for bringing the world of girls, guns, and a cool pair of shades straight to the Japanese video shelves.

Crime Hunter - Bullet of Anger (クライムハンタ 怒りの銃弾)

The "Little Tokyo Police Department" is cruising the streets. Joker(Masanori Sera) and his partner, a peanut-popping Riki Takeuchi, are chilling in their porno-plastered squad car. Over the radio the dispatcher sends them after a perp, they are instructed to "shoot for the head" if necessary.

At the scene is a bulky Yusaku Matsuda wannabe (Makoto Sawamura) with a big perm and a double-barrel. Joker and Riki take him in without much of a fight, but are jumped on the way out by some guys in clown masks and bowlers. Joker is sprayed down with machinegun fire, big perm runs off, and Riki takes one to the head from a foot-long magnum.

Somehow Joker survives the assault, and after a quick recovery he turns in his badge and dons a Members Only jacket to hunt down the killers. He then hits the streets looking for “big perm“, and is roughing guys up in alleyways, and hopping into his muscle car Dukes of Hazzard style. Soon enough he’s onto some radical right-wing gun smugglers that may be involved, and decides to crash their pajama party in the junkyard.

Joker gets held up by the gun smugglers skin-head friends who show him some fingers in a jar, and lock him in a cage. To escape he does a traditional Chinese Lion Dance and fires twin 44’s out from the lion’s mouth. And no, I’m not making this shit up. Next he tracks down “big perm” and finds him holed up in a warehouse drinking Bud. Turns out they have a common enemy of the clown-mask, bowler wearing variety, and they gear up for the big gundown.

Before that can happen, Yoshio Harada stops by for a cigar smoking cameo and sticks around long enough to shoot some punk in the face. Joker then shows up for the final big gun n' stunt spectacular wearing a Rambo headband and carrying a machinegun the size of a Cadillac. “Big perm” pulls out a headband of his own so they can battle bullet-for-bullet and side-by-side.

It doesn't take too long to figure out that this is one big, sweaty gun porno (and that I had a huge, throbbing erection)! A scene of Joker dismantling and cleaning his gun is intercut with a woman showering, not to mention every weapon gets its own close-up as it pumps out bullets like a cumshot.

Over half of Crime Hunter’s sixty-minutes are taken up by bloody shootouts. With the rest consisting of multiple weapon close-ups, gun cleaning, and people getting punched in the face. Although, at one point they do take a break for a heartfelt moment between Joker and Riki's old sack of peanuts. Of course it doesn't take long before he's using even that to sling a grenade toward some slimeball.

The first and, even after all these years, one of the best. Crime Hunter is pure crack in a cassette tape, and that's all V-cinema needs to be baby.

1 comment:

Eric said...

Thank you for writing about Crime Hunter! I had the great opportunity to do some extra work for this film. It was great fun! memories!!!