EL ULTIMO KAMIKAZE/THE LAST KAMIKAZE

1984

Cast: Paul Naschy, Iran Eory, Manuel Tejada, Guillermo Murray, Jose Bodalo, Julia Saly, Leticia Marfil, Mirta Miller, Alberto Fernandez, Lone Fleming, Jose Cela, Angeles Morales, Margarita Ferrer, Luis Carrillo, Hilda Fuchs, Toni Valento, Luis Rico, Rosa Suances
Director: Jacinto Molina
Producer: Paul Naschy for Aconito Films (Madrid), Amachi Films (Tokyo)
Script: Jacinto Molina
Photograpy
: Julio Burgos
Music: Angel Arteaga (with more than a little help from the CAM library; includes Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai cues)

Fujicolor

92 min.

Review: This is one of those Spanish-Japanese co-productions Naschy made in the 1980s, and while it's difficult to review a film in a language one doesn't really understand (Spanish) certain things are evident nevertheless. The plot concerns a rivaling pair of hitmen, one played by Naschy, who are destined to confront each other at the end of the film. In the meantime, sequence follows sequence of hits staged with either predictability or amusing glee. It is Naschy's acting, however, that takes the foremost position here: on one hand he is a brutal hired killer of no remorse, and on the other a man deeply troubled by the heredity influences of his Nazi father. He essays both roles with meticulous exactness, proving himself to be an actor of credible strength in his mature years. The film falters, though, in being too ambitious in relation to its budget. The quick cuts from one international city to another are awkward and unconvincing. This could be due to a slipshod editing job, as well as having scenes played out in too many hotel rooms which are obviously not in the country they are supposed to be in. Likewise contributing to the low-budget look of the film is the obvious stunt double used in scenes where Naschy is supposed to be in high gear on a motorcycle. Naschy's script appears to be on firm emotional ground, though, and it's a pity this film is available only in Spanish, because the depth of the characters' motivations are lost, particularly in the seemingly poignant finale. Aside from Naschy's acting, there are a few other pleasures strewn throughout EL ULTIMO KAMIKAZE. The title credits, with a mysterious figure (supposedly Naschy) loading a gun to a testosterone-producing Ennio Morricone tune from Malamondo, sends shivers of joy and expectation down one's spine, and a Sam Peckinpah-inspired scene where Naschy blows away two lesbians after interrupting their cunnilingus exercises is nastily and unapologetically effective. All in all, EL ULTIMO KAMIKAZE is a film not without interest. Certainly for the Naschy fan it is indispensable viewing. [Source print: Cine Real, a Spanish video company (based in the US? Mexico?), release date probably 1986. Unfortunately the SP print is not in the best of shape: the original source material seems splicy and the transfer is slightly off, with intermittent ghosting and general color problems. Dupes of this must look really bad.]