“STREET MOBSTER”— A Violent Killer

“Street Mobster”

A Violent Killer

Amos Lassen

Japanese action director Kinji Fukasaku’s “Street Mobster” is the story of a violent killer who will stop at nothing to satisfy his lust for blood. 

Released from prison, gangster Isamu Okita plans to start his own gang and begins a reign of terror using beatings, prostitution, stabbings, and murders to fight his way to the top of the gangland world. “Street Mobster” takes us into Japan’s criminal underworld, where anything can be had for a price.Street Mobster” gives us a look at the rise and fall of a reckless street punk caught in the crossfire of a bloody turf war raging in the mean streets of Kawazaki.

When Okita Isamu (Bunta Sugawara) re-emerges onto the mean streets of Kawazaki after five years in prison for brutal crimes, he comes face to face with prostitute Kinuyo, who immediately names him as one of the participants in her brutal sexual assault years earlier that left her shell-shocked and forced to stay a sex worker. While the two outcasts form an unlikely bond, Okita returns to his criminal ways. He is approached by veteran gangster Kizaki (Noboru Andô) who encourages him to round up a group of local street punks to shake up the uneasy agreement between the two rival yakuza groups, who between them control the city s bars, gambling dens and entertainment areas. However, when the new outfit goes too far, they find themselves caught in the middle of a violent reprisal, before an offer of patronage appears from an unlikely source.

In the opening scene, Isamu says, “I like fighting and girls, but not gambling.” This is pretty much what the film is about. Isamu sets forth his doomed fate from the outset: his birthday is on the day Japan lost the war; he is fatherless, from a broken home, with an alcoholic mother who drowned in a river. After reform school, he moved into gangs, abused and raped women and fought a lot, before taking a share in a local brothel. Having done a stretch in prison for attacking the ruling Takigawa gang, he is out and about, looking for action. The word on the street is that the Takigawa gang has gone corporate and is ruled by a small business elite that is now in stiff competition with the rival Yato gang. Isamu decides to drive a wedge between the two rivals and carve out a little respect for himself and the expendable street kids that the bosses have used and abandoned.

The picture looks great for a Japanese film from 1972 and has style and a great narrative.


High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation

Original uncompressed PCM mono audio

Optional English subtitles

Audio commentary by Japanese cinema expert Tom Mes

Theatrical trailer

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Jasper Sharp

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