Nikka/Nikkatsu Month continues with
Velvet Hustler is the story of a cocky, carefree Tokyo hitman named Goro (Nikkatsu action star Tetsuya Watari). When we first meet him, he casually steals a smart red convertible sportscar from an airport, pulls up next to a limo, and blows away the occupants before casually returning the car to the exact same parking spot at the airport and leaving town to lie low in Kobe. Goro expects to be back in Tokyo in six months, but a year later, he’s still stuck cooling his heels in Kobe, waiting for the heat to die down. He spends most of the day sitting in a rocking chair on the docks, waiting for the foreign ships to dock so his crew of touts can pick up the gaijin men and spirit them away to associated nightclubs. Goro himself seems neither disappointed or enthused by his small-time pursuits. His only regret is that he can’t yet go back to his beloved Tokyo. It’s a sentiment he shares with Pepe Le Moko, stuck in The Casbah and forever dreaming of returning to Paris, the title character from the movie that originally served as the inspiration for this film’s inspiration, Red Quay.