Jun’ya Satô – Golgo 13 (1973)

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Review @ sketchesofcinema
Takao Saito’s Golgo 13 comics aren’t very easy to adapt into live action features due to their international nature, but Toei went all the way with this first attempt. Junya Sato shot the film on location in Iran with mostly foreign cast. The lead role is played by the heavenly cool Ken Takakura, whose combination of charisma, black sunglasses and M16 assault rifle makes him one of the coolest asssassins in film history. Both execution and storywise the film could be better – and it would’ve been a good to opt for local languages istead of having the entire Iran speak Japanese – but with its rare international setting, superb leading man and some exciting action Golgo 13 easily ranks more interesting than Toei’s average action thrillers of the era. Due to the high expenses the studio didn’t allow Golgo 13 to return to the big screen until in 1977 in a slightly inferior Shinichi Chiba film Golgo 13: Kowloon Assignment. Continue reading

Junya Sato – Ningen no shômei AKA Proof of the Man (1977)




When an American tourist named Jonny Hayward mysterious dies while on vacation in Tokyo. A Japanese detective named Munesue goes to New York City looking for a wanted man who fled Japan who knows the identity of the killer Jonny’s. Will detective Munesue be able to track down his only lead a fugitive before he is disposed of like all the other witnesses in this case?

Proof of the Man was directed by Junya Sato who a few years earlier directed the epic action extravaganza Bullet Train. When Proof of the Man was originally released in 1977 two versions where released a longer 133 minute Japanese version and a much shorter 100 minute English language version. The difference between the two version is not just a removal of thirty three minutes since the English language version features scenes that where shot exclusively for this edit of the film. Continue reading