Golgo 13 (1973)

Filmed almost entirely in the Imperial State of Iran, with an almost entirely Persian supporting cast, the first live action adventure of Duke Togo — Golgo 13 — stars Ken Takakura, considered the Clint Eastwood of Japanese film.

The world’s best killer, Golgo 13 has been recruited to kill Max Boa, who leads a worldwide crime syndicate responsible for most of the drugs, weapons and human trafficking everywhere. This takes him to the Middle East and as you may — or may not — know, Golgo 13 never fails an assignment. He also has a samurai code about his assignments, only meeting clients once and only doing one job for them. They must also be honest about why they’ve hired him and no double-crosses will be forgotten or forgiven.

As for his name, it supposedly was his nickname in a West German workcamp that references Golgotha, the skull place on which Jesus Christ was crucified as well as the thirteenth disciple, Judas. His logo has a skeleton wearing a crown of thorns, so that seems to make sense.

For as wild as the series gets, this movie is pretty basic. I mean, it’s solid, but I expect more lunacy out of Golgo 13. Luckily, the anime movies get it exactly right.

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