HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
Planet of the Dinosaurs
Gwen
Big Breadwinner Hog
Thunder Road
Moby Dick
Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie
Mad Room, The
Phantom of the Megaplex
Night Sitter, The
Child's Play
Power, The
Midsommar
After Midnight
Dolemite is My Name
Varda by Agnes
Toy Story 4
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy
Man Who Never Was, The
Greener Grass
Scobie Malone
Gangster, the Cop, the Devil, The
Brightburn
Satanic Panic
Claudine
Harpoon
Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The
Dark Phoenix
   
 
Newest Articles
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
   
 
  3 Seconds Before Explosion Tick-tick-tick BOOM!Buy this film here.
Year: 1967
Director: Motomo Ida
Stars: Akira Kobayashi, Hideki Takahashi, Ryoji Hayama, Kazuo Kitamura, Katsue Takaishi, Hiroshi Nawa, Asao Uchida, Takashi Kanda, Ruriko Ito, Ying Lang Fang, Shiro Hanabusa
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Yabuki (Akira Kobayashi) is trapped in a dark room and tortured with bright flashing lights and a high-pitched noise that proves just as torturous for the viewer. It turns out to be the final test to see if Yabuki has the stamina required to serve as an agent with Japan's Internal Bureau. He passes with flying colours. Elsewhere two fishermen dredge up the corpse of a certain Mr. Nakano, the latest in a string of bizarre deaths to have befallen employees of the Sanei Corporation. Company boss Tachihara (Asao Uchida) is being targeted by a gang of ruthless diamond thieves who know he has a fortune in jewels stolen from a foreign nation during the war. Yabuki is assigned to steal the jewels back for the government before they fall into the slimy hands of Uetsuki (Ryoji Hayama) and Komiya (Hiroshi Nawa), a couple of sharp-suited mobsters working for a former Nazi. Matters are complicated when Yabuki clashes with Sanei's chief security officer, Yamawaki (Hideki Takahashi), who happens to be a former IB agent.

Japan's oldest film studio, Nikkatsu, will forever be associated with their infamous Roman Porno line of glossy big-budget sex movies in the Seventies and beyond but before switching exclusively to such fare they were the kings of pop action thrillers. 3 Seconds Before Explosion was a typical vehicle for one of Nikkatsu's biggest stars, actor and singer Akira Kobayashi who also appeared as a singing cowboy in numerous westerns though the cult film he is best known for in the west remains Yasuharu Hasebe's charming Black Tight Killers (1966). Like that film this is a fanciful spy thriller in the James Bond vein albeit not quite as kitsch or playful. Spy films were of course all the rage in the Sixties post-Dr. No (1962) but unlike American, British or even Euro-spy fare countries less actively involved in the Cold War tended to fuse trappings of the secret agent yarn with genres local movie-goers found more accessible. Hence, despite the gadgets, girls and colourful comic book set-pieces, 3 Seconds Before Explosion is really a heist thriller done in the James Bond style but with a grittier plot closer to a Samuel Fuller crime picture.

It is also far bloodier and sadistic than any Sixties Bond film with exploding bodies, flying severed limbs and arterial sprays of an excessive sort most western viewers would not catch up with until the belated release of Shogun Assassin (1980). A number of musical sequences also feature which makes for somewhat of a jarring experience to say the least. One moment we are watching a hapless criminal explode into a mess of scattered entrails, the next we are inside a pop art nightclub where a suave crooner performs an enka ballad onstage. Kobayashi essays a gruff, intense action hero who has no time for witty one-liners between karate chopping bad guys, snapping a security dog's neck and brutalizing everyone he meets. He is certainly tough and uncompromising though not necessarily likeable or compelling, eclipsed by the more complex and charismatic Yamawaki who has his own agenda in play. Unlike the Bond films this skirts close to a buddy movie as a sub-plot charts the growing respect between two equally formidable action heroes. Yabuki admires Yamawaki for having the guts to put love above duty but balks at him using girlfriend Nana (Katsui Takaishi) as an undercover spy. Needless to say, women do not have an easy ride in this movie with the entire female contingent of the cast tortured, abused or casually killed off.

Unsung action hand Motomo Ida does a fantastic job with the action sequences which are taut and exciting including some amazing chase scenes where Kobayashi leaps from building to building or runs through glass windows. The plot is appreciably complex and suspenseful yet there remains something frankly unpleasant about the manner in which dogs and women are equally expendable in this movie.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2363 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: