Made at the end of the 1970s, Toru Murakawa's Game Trilogy launched actor Yusaku Matsuda as the Toei tough guy for a new generation. Matsuda was the definitive screen icon of 1980s until his career was tragically cut short by cancer at the age of 40, following his Hollywood debut in Ridley Scott’s Black Rain.
In this career-defining triptych, Matsuda is Shohei Narumi, an ice cool hitman of few words, a steely trigger finger, and a heart of stone, hired in The Most Dangerous Game by a company bidding for a lucrative government air defence contract to take out the competition. In The Killing Game, Narumi finds himself caught in the midst of violent yakuza gang warfare, while his own brutal past catches up with him in the form of two beautiful women still bearing the emotional scars of his past assignments. In The Execution Game, Narumi falls for a mysterious saloon bar chanteuse who may or may not be part of the same, shadowy underworld organisation as the rival hitmen he is employed to rub out.
Released for the very first time outside Japan, with their cool blue cinematography by Nagisa Oshima collaborator Seizo Sengen and a sultry score by jazz legend Yuji Ohno, Murakawa’s masterful set of films raised the bar for the Japanese Action & Adventure movie to new heights.