Branded to Kill (1967) - Rotten Tomatoes

Branded to Kill (1967)

Branded to Kill (1967)

Branded to Kill

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Branded to Kill Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

A delirious fever dream of a film, Seijun Suzuki's Branded to Kill takes the familiar elements of "B"-movie crime drama and transforms them into something outrageously bizarre and unexpectedly poetic. The film's story centers on Hanada, a.k.a. "No. 3 Killer," the third-best hit man in Japanese organized crime. Near the top of his game, his fortunes change when he encounters Misako, a mysterious, death-obsessed woman who brings him a particularly difficult mission. In a famous moment indicative of the film's eccentric sensibility, a butterfly lands on his gun's sight at the exact moment he pulls the trigger, causing him to miss the shot. This failure means that the killer becomes the target, and must run for his life from his former employers, and the mysterious "No. 1 Killer." While the film does contain some spectacular action sequences, the story is played less as a suspense thriller than as a surrealistic, psychosexual nightmare, filled with grotesque imagery and strange touches, such as Misako's use of a dead bird's corpse as a rear-view mirror decoration, and his almost fetishistic fixation with the smell of boiling rice. Indeed, the narrative is at times so fragmented that it is often difficult to decipher exactly what is happening; however, the striking black-and-white cinematography and avant-garde editing provide the film with a dream logic all its own. Now considered by many critics a maverick classic comparable to the works of Samuel Fuller or Jean-Luc Godard, the film was less well received at the time of its original release, with its utter strangeness leading to director Suzuki's firing from the Nikkatsu studio and the near destruction of his career. ~ Judd Blaise, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Art House & International
Directed By:
Written By: Hachiro Guryu, Takeo Kimura
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 23, 1999
Runtime:
Criterion Collection

Cast

Jo Shishido
as Hanada Goro/ Killer ...
Mariko Ogawa
as Hanada Mami
Koji Nanbara
as Killer No. 1
Isao Tamagawa
as Yabuhara Michihiko
Annu Mari
as Nakajo Misako
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Branded to Kill

Critic Reviews for Branded to Kill

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (3)

'Branded to Kill' is one of those films that feels so far ahead of its time, we may still not have caught up to it. The violence is raw, the sex even more so, and the monochrome photography is flawless.

Full Review… | July 23, 2014
Time Out
Top Critic

Reputedly one of Seijun Suzuki's finest works and unquestionably very stylish in its 'Scope framings (Jim Jarmusch copied a few shots from it in his Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai).

Full Review… | January 9, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Occasionally mystifying, but always witty, inventive and dazzling to look at.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

An arresting cocktail of sex, violence and surrealism, shot in monochrome hues which accentuate the perversity of the entire twisted venture.

Full Review… | July 26, 2014
Observer (UK)

Director Seijun Suzuki outdid himself with this astonishing blend of yakuza movie, film noir and nouvelle vague.

Full Review… | July 25, 2014
Radio Times

Genuinely fascinating and bizarre.

Full Review… | July 24, 2014
Guardian

Audience Reviews for Branded to Kill

½

Hamada, the #3 killer with the rice-sniffing fetish, finds himself in trouble with the Organization after he falls in love with a woman with a death wish. BRANDED drips with 60s cool and is a near-perfect work of neo-surrealism in that, although the details often don't make sense, the big picture always does. Contains the memorable scenes of Hamada assassinating a man by shooting up a drainpipe and botching a hit when a butterfly lands on his gun barrel.

366weirdmovies
Greg S

Super Reviewer

½

Nonsensical violence with some of the most poorly choreographed gunfights you'll ever see. A macabre train-wreck of a film that draws you in by appealing to that warped, illogical, action-craving part of your brain that everyone has and few acknowledge.

flixsterman
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Not the weird for the sake of being weird movie that I expected but has many unconventional & absurd moments, Overall fun & funny

arashxak
Arash Xak

Super Reviewer

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