New Release: Branded to Kill DVD and Blu-ray

Release Date: Dec. 13, 2011
Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $39.99
Studio: Criterion

Branded to Kill movie scene

Yakuza assassin Joe Shishido is Branded to Kill.

When Japanese New Wave bad boy Seijun Suzuki (Tokyo Drifter) delivered the 1967 film Branded to Kill to the executives at his studio, he was promptly fired.

A stylish crime-action thriller movie (with a lot of drama thrown in, as well), Branded to Kill tells the ecstatically bent story of a Yakuza assassin (Joe Shishido) with a fetish for sniffing boiled rice who botches a job and ends up a target himself.

Branded to Kill is a film that reveals the legendary Suzuki at his most extreme—it’s the flabbergasting pinnacle of his 1960s pop-art aesthetic.

Criterion’s DVD and Blu-ray releases offer the film with a new high-definition digital restoration, including an uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition and a new English subtitle translation.

The company previously issued the movie on DVD back in 1999, supplemented with an interview with Suzuki. That’s included in both of the new editions, along with the following additional special features:

  • Video piece featuring new interviews with director Seijun Suzuki and assistant director Masami Kuzuu
  • Interview with Suzuki from 1997
  • New interview with actor Joe Shishido
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • A booklet featuring an essay by critic and historian Tony Rayns, author of Branded to Thrill: The Delirious Cinema of Suzuki Seijun, and a state­ment by the film’s art director, Sukezo Kawahara


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.