Thursday, September 29, 2016

Stray Cat Rock: Beat '71 (1971)

I was a little nervous going into this final Stray Cat Rock film seeing as it was directed by Toshiya Fujita who also directed the series low-point, Wild Jumbo. Why not finish it out with series-starter Yasuharu Hasebe who directed all the other entries? Thankfully all my fears were for naught. While not the out and out masterpiece of Lady Snowblood (which Fujita would go on to direct two years later) Beat '71 is a solid film and also a fitting end to this weird little series. There's a lot of loaded imagery in that final battle where Eastern Culture is literally doing battle with Western Culture - in a Wild West Town no less! Perhaps for others this will come off as heavy handed, but for me, when you throw in the reprise of that Mops song and those poetic closing images of MaabĂ´, cinema doesn't get much better.

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