This isn’t a movie review, because Killers on Parade (1961) is hardly a movie, it’s madness. It’s one of those rare films for which the adjective “madcap” is appropriate (‘madcap’ usually means the film is a mess; see “Anne Hathaway’s madcap monster movie plays it too safe“).

One Japanese blog describes it: 「正義の殺し屋がドタバタと繰り広げるシュールなナンセンス映画」 / “surreal nonsense movie killer of justice unfolds and slapstick”.

Check out the film’s intro:

The full title is 夕陽に赤い俺の顔 My Face Red in the Sunset , a.k.a. “Killers on Parade“, and it is directed by Masahiro Shinoda 篠田 正浩, who directed The Petrified Forest (1973) and The Ballad of Orin はなれ瞽女おりん “Hanare goze Orin” (1977).

If you watched the intro you’ll notice the unusual semi-circular tubes, which remind me of the shield generator on planet Hoth in The Return of the Jedi.

killers-on-parade-tokyo-rifle-shooting-range

What is this? It’s the Okubo rifle shooting range 大久保小銃射撃場, a “shooting tunnel” 射撃隧道(トンネル), and the remains of the Japanese Army shooting range 陸軍射撃場跡, in Okubo, Shinjuku, near Shin-Okubo and Nishi-Waseda stations. It was quite a large facility. See the aerial photos from 1945/50 and 1961/64:

The range was demolished after the war and became home to the Waseda University Faculty of Science and Engineering / 早稲田大学 理工学術院 / 早稲田大学 西早稲田キャンパス Waseda, West Campus, Waseda University (map). This area was known as Toyamagahara  【戸山ヶ原】 とやま が はら, a former Army parade ground 旧陸軍が練兵場などに使用.

During the Allied Occupation, the firing range was known as the “7th Cavalry Rifle Range”, as depicted in a map from 1948:

The following blogs have good pictures and history of the site:

A contemporary photo, circa 1960 (source):

shooting-range-okubo-rifle-shooting-range-circa-1960

There’s even a woodblock print of this (or similar) rangefrom the series, 昭和大東京百図絵版画完制判 第九十三景 陸軍射撃場 “100 Pictures of Great Tokyo in Showa”, by Koizumi Kishio 小泉癸巳男 (1893-1945)  (source):

woodblock-firing-range-tokyo-1937

Some more stills from the movie:

Opening title sequence:

More exterior shots of the firing range:

Bad guys on parade:

Inside the firing range:

Other links:

See also:

 

 

Advertisements