P. P. Rider is a Japanese film dealing with three teenagers who set out to recover a kidnapped schoolmate. This capsule description, while accurate enough, makes the film sound rather like something Disney used to make to fill a couple spare weeks on his TV show. P. P. Rider isn’t that at all. It certainly wasn’t made for children.
Written by Leonard Schrader and his wife Chieko Schrader.
MISSING LINK — by Shigehiko Hasumi
“Between the studio system’s collapse and the rise of the new new wave in Japanese film, the pivotal figure was the late Shinji Somai….”
“Even his first masterpiece, P.P. Rider (83), inspired by Leonard Schrader’s story, was generally regarded as a trivial children’s entertainment, with only a handful of Japanese critics showing any enthusiasm for it.
During the years he was making The Hip Couple and P.P. Rider, Somai was in fact setting a time bomb that would one day explode. In both films, teenagers wamder aimlessly through a world in which parents and families have seemingly vanished and the few discernible adults are unable to guide the young in any clear direction.”
– FILM COMMENT Jan/Feb 2002