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Youth of the Beast 15 rating

A mysterious loner plays off rival gangs against one another in Seijun Suzuki's outrageous, kaleidoscopic crime picture.

Crime 1963 92 mins

Director: Seijun Suzuki


A man and woman lie dead in a no-tell motel. Investigators search the scene and find that the lifeless man was a detective. Days later, 'Joe' a ragged but handsome thug begins roughing up gangsters in the dark parts of town. Muscling his way into the yakuza world, he lands a job as the trigger man for the Nomoto-gumi family.

Borrowing Kurosawa's Yojimbo theme of rival gangs being pitted against one another, Seijun Suzuki takes the genre conventions of the mob picture to new, giddy heights. One of the key films from Suzuki's run of increasingly outrageous crime films for Nikkatsu studios, Youth of the Beast finds the director at the top of his game, filling the widescreen frame with disorienting compositions and spectaculor colour schemes.