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Battles Without Honour and Humanity: The Complete Collection in December

20 November 2015

Arrow Video ha announced the release of a new limited edtion box-set featuring Kinji Fukasaku’s iconic Yakuza film series Battles Without Honour and Humanity, Japan’s answer to The Godfather. This five film series, shot within just two years, features all 5 films, Battles Without Honour and Humanity, Hiroshima Death Match, Proxy War, Police Tactics and Final Episode.

This violent yakuza saga influenced filmmakers from Quentin Tarantino to Takashi Miike. Made within just two years, the five-film series brought a new kind of realism and ferocity to the crime genre in Japan, revitalizing the industry and leading to unprecedented commercial and critical success.

Fukasaku and his team broke with the longstanding studio tradition of casting marquee idols as honorable, kimono-clad heroes, defending their gang bosses against unscrupulous villains, and instead adapted true accounts torn from the headlines, shot in a documentary-like style, and with few clear-cut heroes or villains. The vibrancy and dynamism of the filmmaking, plus its shocking violence, Shakespearean plotlines, and wide tapestry of characters, launched a revolutionary new genre, establishing the series as one of the great masterpieces of world crime cinema.

The limited edition collection, with only 2,500 copies being made available, will also include The Complete Saga, an English-subtitled premiere of the 224 minute composite edit of the first four films, alongside various new documentaries, interviews, featurettes and a 152-page hardback book featuring writing on the history of the yakuza film genre, films and filmmakers.

Battles Without Honour and Humanity will be released on Blu-ray and DVD as a 13 disc set on 7th December 2015 by Arrow Video at a likely RRP of £79.99.

Disc set details:

  • Limited Edition Blu-ray Collection (2500 copies)

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of all five original films

  • Original Mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-rays)

  • Optional English subtitles for all five films

  • Limited Edition packaging and reversible sleeves for all five films including original and newly commissioned artwork by Reinhard Kleist

Battles Without Honour and Humanity – Discs 1 & 2

  • Brand new audio commentary by critic and author Stuart Galbraith IV

  • Yakuza Graveyard – a new interview with Takashi Miike about Kinji Fukasaku and the yakuza film genre

  • Original trailers for all five films

Hiroshima Death Match – Discs 3 & 4

  • Man of Action – a new interview with series fight choreographer Ryuzo Ueno

  • Original trailer

Proxy War – Discs 5 & 6

  • Secrets of the Piranha Army – a new documentary about the troupe of supporting actors who appeared throughout the series, featuring interviews with original Piranha members Masaru Shiga and Takashi Noguchi, plus second-generation Piranha, Takashi Nishina and Akira Murota

  • Tales of a Bit Player – a new interview with supporting actor and stuntman Seizo Fukumoto

  • Original trailer

Police Tactics – Discs 7 & 8

  • Remembering Kinji – a new featurette about director Kinji Fukasaku and his work, featuring interviews with Kenta Fukasaku and film critic and Fukasaku biographer Sadao Yamane

  • Fukasaku Family – a new interview with Proxy War and Police Tactics assistant director Toru Dobashi

  • Original trailer

Final Episode – Discs 7 & 8

  • Last Days of the Boss – a new interview with Final Episode screenwriter Koji Takada

  • Original poster gallery for the series

  • Original trailer

The Complete Saga – Discs 11, 12 & 13 [Limited Edition Exclusive]

  • English-subtitled premiere of the 224-minute compilation edition of the first four films, previously screened only as part of a limited Japanese theatrical release in 1980 and on the Toei cable channel

  • Introduction by Complete Saga editorial supervisor Toru Dobashi

The Yakuza Papers [Limited Edition Exclusive]

  • 152-page hardback book featuring writing on the history of the yakuza film genre, including a newly-reprinted and fully annotated edition of Paul Schrader’s classic 1974 Film Comment essay Yakuza-Eiga: A Primer, a new, exclusive English translation of screenwriter Kazuo Kasahara’s 1974 Scenario magazine essay on his writing process for the first four films, as well as new essays and interviews from Chris D., Grady Hendrix, Patrick Macias, Tom Mes, Mark Schilling, and Jasper Sharp