The Curator of Schlock #351 by Jeff Shuster
Part 2 of the Black Society trilogy.
Edwige and I have been consuming a lot of beef jerky on our little road excursion. Edwige prefers the teriyaki flavor, but I’m more of a black pepper fan. Oh, and I learned that the Slim Jim company makes pork rinds. They come in Squealin’ Hot and Hogwild BBQ. What are pork rinds? Pig skins! Hmmmmmmm…
Tonight’s Arrow Home Video release is 1997’s Rainy Dog from director Takashi Miike. This is a movie about an ex-Yakuza enforcer named Yuuji (Show Aikawa). He actually got fired from the Yakuza. How does that happen? Do they bring you into the main office, tell you this isn’t working out, that you haven’t put your shoulder to the wind? Then you have to clear out your desk while being escorted out by security. You’re not allowed to talk to anyone on the way out and you may start bawling like a baby. The secretary you’ve had a crush on looks away as you walk past her desk. As you drive home, you realize you left the Death Wish II CD soundtrack in the CD Rom drive of your desk computer, but you’re too chicken to go back to ask for it.
Anyway, Yuuji is getting by as a working class assassin, killing assigned targets for quick cash. A woman stops by his crappy apartment with a little boy named Chen (Jianqin He). This little boy is Yuuji’s son and his mother is tired of taking care of him so she just leaves him there, making a fast getaway in a cab. Chen is mute and doesn’t say a word throughout the whole picture. He keeps following Yuuji wherever he goes whether it’s to shoot a man having lunch with his family or partaking in the services at a local brothel.
Yuuji starts hanging out with a prostitute named Lilly (Xianmei Chen) that kind of ends up taking care of Chen as a surrogate mother or surrogate big sister. Lilly dreams of moving somewhere else where it doesn’t rain all of the time. Yes, it rains all of the time in whatever city they’re currently living in. Chen eventually befriends a stray dog that’s drenched in the rain so I guess that’s where the title of the movie comes from.
So Yuuji assassinates a few criminals in the middle of a money exchange and ends up with a a whole bunch of cash as a bonus. He decides to high tail it out of town with Lilly and Chen, but a bunch of men start shooting at the cab they’re leaving in. A hit has been put out on Yuuji by the brother of one of the men he’s assassinated. The three of them hide out in a shack by the beach, trying to figure out what to do next. I won’t spoil the finale.
I enjoyed this film better than Shinjuku Triad Society. It had a melancholy feel to it and was less batshit. We will conclude with part 3 of the Black Society Trilogy next week with Ley Lines.
Jeff Shuster (episode 47, episode 102, episode 124, episode 131, episode 284, episode 441, episode 442, episode 443, episode 444, and episode 450) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.
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