This week's Lost in Criterion has been up since Friday, but I dropped the ball on the announcement. Oops.
Anyway, Tokyo Drifter (1966) is less confusing than the Seijun Suzuki film we talked about last week -- Branded to Kill -- but only in that it has a more discernible plot. Still, Tokyo Drifter wasn't what the studio was hoping for from their B-movie Yakuza productions and led directly to Branded to Kill's seemingly odd for a 1967 gangster movie black and white filming. As it turns out, the studio was so dissatisfied they didn't want to waste color film on Suzuki's follow-up.
Tokyo Drifter may not be as weird as Branded, but it's still weird. Extended scenes are shot with Looney Tunes logic to their violence. Like Branded it's a deconstruction of the genre, unlike Branded, it tells a coherent story.