Gogol 13

In DVD/Blu-ray by Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Bottom line: Finally! The film of Takao Saito’s classic Manga creation comes to blu-ray.
Rating: 4/5.

Cast: Ken Takakura, Pouri Banayi, Mohsen Sohrabi, Jaleh Sam, Ahmad Ghadakchian.
Director: Junya Satō.
Language: Japanese, with optional English subtitles.
Format: Blu-ray.
Run time: 152 minutes.

Gogol 13 sees Japanese acting legend, Ken Takakura, as Manga’s deadliest assassin whose customised, scoped M16 rifle brings death to the rich and poor alike.

The longest-running Manga in history, Gogol 13, was the creation of artist Takao Saito. Meticulously plotted, with a lead who has been consistently compared to James Bond, Takakura was the original character archetype. So the fact that he plays the stoic hitman in this 1973 classic is especially pleasing.

Takakura is, of course, superb in everything he does but Gogol 13 sees him at his most stylish and enigmatic. 

To modern audiences, Duke Togo/Gogol’s misogyny and moral vacancy might be hard to swallow, but as an action movie Gogol 13 hard to fault action–both bloody and relentless, with superb fight choreography throughout. 

However, despite Gogol 13 being a billion-yet hit at the time, it has been almost impossible to see outside of Japan for many years. 

Eureka’s release sees Gogol 13 finally get the classics treatment, with a stunning 2k restoration for the film’s UK debut on blu-ray.

Special features: 

  • Limited Edition slipcase featuring new artwork by Tony Stella (first 2000 copies).
  • 1080p presentation on blu-ray from a 2K restoration of the original film elements.
  • Optional English subtitles.
  • Brand new audio commentary by Mike Leeder and Arne Venema.
  • Lucky 13: Junya Sato’s biographers on Golgo 13 – Brand new interview with film writer Tatsuya Masuto and film critic Masaaki Nomura.
  • Trailer.
  • A limited edition collectors booklet featuring new writing on the film by Tom Mes (first 2000 copies).