Black Lizard | Chicago Reader

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This campy, melodramatic 1968 Japanese thriller in 'Scope and color with its leading character in drag isn't even a patch on Kon Ichikawa's extraordinary 1963 An Actor's Revenge, which has the same characteristics and strikes me as infinitely more worthy of revival. But if you're looking for something weird and nutty, this might suit. The famous female impersonator Akihiro Maruyama stars as a jewel thief named Black Lizard, who's pursued by a detective (Isao Kimura) and interested in doing perverse things with the body of a jeweler's daughter (Kikko Matsuoka). The story was adapted by Masahige Narusawa from a novel by Rampo Edogawa, which was earlier adapted for the stage by Yukio Mishima, who appears here very briefly as a human statue owned by the thief.

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