Film #69: K-20: LEGEND OF THE BLACK MASK
K-20: Legend of the Mask (aka K-20: The Fiend With Twenty Faces aka K-20: Kaijin Niju Menso Den)
4.5 out of 5 stars
How did this get by me? Imagine, a world in which Japan and the US came to a peace which avoided WWII. Now, throw in a time when Tesla – not Einstein - is considered the scientific genius of our age and a Steam Punk esthetic is the order of the day. Then, throw in Batman, Indiana Jones, Darkman, and the exuberance of Saturday Matinee serials and you come close to understanding what K-20 sets out to do. Now, is it successful? Well, I’m happy to answer with a resounding YES! Fun, exciting, dramatic, and well-constructed K-20 is an absolute delight! I hit play on this one and had no idea what I was getting, but boy, I REALLY liked this film. Takeshi Kaneshiro (RED CLIFF, HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, THE WARLORDS) shines as the imminently likable circus performer, Hekichi Endo, and the rest of the cast is spot-on. Director Shimako Sato (WIZARD OF DARKNESS) writes and directs with an assured hand and she completely gets the construction of those scenes of daring-do of yore. I grew up on these types of films and I absolutely loved K-20! I just hope more of them get made in the future. HIGHLY recommended!!!