Resurrection of the Golden Wolf : a macho actioner

When I saw an advertisement announcing the release of Kadokawa classics on DVD, I immediately popped into the local music store and purchased Resurrection of the Golden Wolf!!

A 1979 action thriller starring legendary Japanese actor Yusaki Matsuda, Resurrection of the Golden Wolf has enjoyed a surge in interest since the anime Cowboy Bebop became a hit. The anime’s main character Spike is rumoured to be modeled on the character Matsuda plays in Resurrection of the Golden Wolf.

Tetsuya Asakura (Yusaki Matsuda) is a timid office worker during the day, but becomes a ruthless robber / vigilante with shoulder length permed hair at night. Tetsuya blackmails his way into becoming a senior executive at the company but is eventually killed by one of the women he took advantage of.

Primarily a vehicle for Matsuda, the picture relies on flamboyant set pieces that are by no meaning realistic – a machine gun fails to pick Tetsuya out despite his running across a field with no obstacles to shield him!! Typical of the period, Tetsuya is cool (drives fancy cars), thoroughly masculine (he is an ace boxer) and chauvinistic in a very un-PC kind of way. Women get slapped around, used and tossed away without any sympathy. Sonny Chiba has a minor role as an equally unsavory character with basically the same traits. It is a miracle how anyone could look up to Tetsuya as even an anti-hero.

Resurrection of the Golden Wolf shows a Japanese man rebelling totally from the system. The Tetsuya character does not have any goals – he is an anarchist. Even when he becomes a senior executive, he does not seek stability and ultimately implodes on his own destructive streak. Watching this movie, I was reminded of another Japanese movie The Man Who Stole The Sun (starring pop legend Kenji Sawada). In that picture, the main character also rebelled against the system, but he had more motive and the cause was more reasonable.

Having said all that, the DVD was entertaining in a cult movie sense. I particularly liked the outstanding soundtrack and the theme song.