Shinkansen Daibakuha (1975, JAP) C-152m. SCOPE ** D: Junya Sato. Starring Ken Takakura, Shinichi Chiba (=Sonny Chiba), Kei Yamamoto, Eiji Go, Akira Oda, Raita Ryu, Takashi Shimura. Japanese disaster movie that - despite being an imitation of Irwin Allen's movies at the time - later served as a blueprint for SPEED (1994). A criminal and his assistants have put a bomb on a high-speed train that will detonate if it slows down below 80km/h (roughly 50 mph). Police and railway officials desperately try to keep the crew calm and find the gangsters before the bomb kills 1,500 passengers. Unlike American disaster movies, this is rather uninterested in the victims but focuses on the criminals and the officials. Surprisingly thoughtful, fairly exciting and kinda cool, despite length and relative lack of action. Also shown at 100m. and 115m. English title: THE BULLET TRAIN.

© Ron Altman