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A pivotal work in the yakuza movie genre and in the career of director Kinji Fukasaku (Battle Royale, Doberman Cop), Street Mobster presents an abrasive portrait of the rise and fall of a reckless street punk caught in the crossfire of a bloody turf war raging in the mean streets of Kawazaki.
When Okita Isamu (Bunta Sugawara, Cops VS Thugs) re-emerges onto the mean streets of Kawazaki after five years in prison for a string of brutal crimes, he comes face to face with prostitute Kinuyo, who immediately pinpoints him as one of the participants in her brutal sexual assault years earlier that left her shell-shocked and consigned to the life of a sex worker. While the two outcasts form an unlikely bond, Okita returns to his criminal ways. He is approached by veteran gangster Kizaki (Noboru Andô, Graveyard of Honour), who encourages him to round up a group of local chinpira street punks to shake up the uneasy agreement between the two rival yakuza groups, who between them control the city's bars, gambling dens and entertainment areas. However, when the new outfit goes too far into the turf of the big boys, they find themselves caught in the midst of a violent reprisal, before an offer of patronage appears from an unlikely source.
Street Mobster is the first film in which Fukasaku's vital and exhilarating approach to the contemporary-set gangster picture was paired with the untamed, raw charisma of Japan's top screen mobster Sugawara Bunta. The film would change the life of both, paving the way for their subsequent collaborations on the landmark Battles Without Honour and Humanity series that began the following year.