Blu-ray Review: Black Test Car (1962)/The Black Report (1963)

August 25, 2020

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Our putrid pals over at Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment have got a couple of flicks from Japanese maverick director Yasuzo Masumura that they are set to release on one lil’ ol’ Blu-ray; 1962’s Black Test Car, which deals with corporate espionage in the auto industry, and 1963’s The Black Report, which is a murder mystery affair.

In Black Test Car we meet Asahina (Jiro Tamiya), who works at Tiger Motors, a company which is tryin’ like unholy hell to get a new car constructed and on the road before those sons of bitches at rival company Yamamoto Motors are any the wiser. Of course that’s going to be near impossible as their is a spy in Tiger’s outfit, and the company will go to great lengths to sniff ’em out!

For a pic about rival auto companies, Black Test Car certainly is filled with a cast of cuthroat bastards, willing to do anything to get their company over. Honestly, there aren’t even any heroes at all in this tale, just varying degrees of shadiness.

The entire film comes off completely nihilistic and cynical as Japan’s greed turns it’s citizens into opposed factions driven only by the need to succeed in business. That being said, it’s a damn solid watch, and is amazingly engaging considering there’s really no one to “root for”.



Moving on to The Black Report we are presented with the tale of grizzly murder. After an old dude gets brained with a Kong-sized vase. Of course we are presented with a number of likely suspects, and the “whodunit” wheel is spun but hard, ya dig?

Eventually the film reveals that even though the case may be solved, the amount of bureaucracy that can stand in the way of justice can be crippling to the system, especially with it’s endless barrage of useless forms and paperwork. Not the most radical of statements, but a good ‘un nevertheless.



As for special features to accompany the main attractions up yonder we get a newly recorded critical appreciation by film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum, as well as theatrical trailers and image galleries for both films.

All of this comes in a case featuring new commissioned artwork by Tony Stella, and with a collector’s booklet with new writing on the films by film scholar Mark Downing Roberts.

Bleak, stark, and riveting, the two films in this collection are well worth your time cats n’ creeps!




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