Black Test Car (1962)

Yasuzô Masumura’s films triumph the idea of the individual versus the needs of the many, standing in diametric opposite to Japanese norms. His 1962 Black Test Car tells the story of the battle between the Tiger Motorcar Company and the Yamato Company, particularly their newest sportcars.

Tiger was planning on a new car named Pioneer to set the world on fire, but the only thing ablaze is the test car. Now, Toru (Hideo Takamatsu, Ninja In a Business Suit) must discover the spy in his company and why Yamamoto’s new car looks so much like an automobile his company has lost.

There are no heroes in this film, only the relentless drive to make the company a success no matter the cost — money, love, human contact, basic decency be damned. It’s a strange film for American eyes, as it somehow is closer to the noir within a subject that few would consider, the cutthroat world of industrial automotive espionage.

Arrow Video keeps succeeding in finding movies I had no idea existed and suddenly making me care deeply about their existence. This is but another of those films.

You can get this blu ray from Diabolik DVD. It comes complete with another Masumura film, The Black Report.

DISCLAIMER: This film was sent to us by Arrow Video.

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