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Unlucky Monkey (1998)

Anrakkî monkî (original title)
Yamazaki has spent a lot of time plotting a robbery of a local bank, but when he actually gets to the bank he finds another robber escaping with the money. Through an improbable chain of ... See full summary »


SABU (as Sabu)


SABU (as Sabu)


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Credited cast:
Shin'ichi Tsutsumi ... Yamazaki
Hiroshi Shimizu Hiroshi Shimizu
Akira Yamamoto Akira Yamamoto ... Matsui
Ikkô Suzuki Ikkô Suzuki ... Kaneda (as Ikko Suzuki)
Kimika Yoshino Kimika Yoshino ... Miki Yoshida (victim of stabbing)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yôzaburô Itô Yôzaburô Itô ... Company Member at public hearing
Akaji Maro ... Hobo
Naomasa Musaka Naomasa Musaka ... Angry citizen
Toshie Negishi ... Angry citizen
Ren Osugi ... Tachibana (as Ren Ôsugi)
SABU ... Bank Robber
Manzô Shinra Manzô Shinra
Tomorô Taguchi ... Miyata, Killer
Yôji Tanaka Yôji Tanaka ... Member of citizen convention


Yamazaki has spent a lot of time plotting a robbery of a local bank, but when he actually gets to the bank he finds another robber escaping with the money. Through an improbable chain of events Yamazaki gets hold of the money and during a panicked escape accidentally kills an innocent girl.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Comedy


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Release Date:

18 July 1998 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Unlucky Monkey See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shochiku See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Referenced in Ichi the Killer (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

Great work by great director
24 May 2004 | by AnamonSee all my reviews

I already knew that I loved the works of Hiroyuki Tanaka before seeing this movie, but could still rate it unbiased because I didn't know that it was by him until the credits were showed.

It is mainly a film telling you much about life, and how it can turn on you. Its messages are very close to reality although most viewers won't experience them the way the protagonist does. But I found it very touching, especially the interesting dream monologue. I like that kind of movies, with their underground shabby feel to them, not trying to always show the greatest action scenes and effects, but letting you really get into the character(s), feel with him, pity him, then hate him, then wanting to help him again, and even think about him and his story for weeks after watching the film.

I think Shinichi Tsutsumi did a great job in portraying the character of Yamazaki, the emotions felt very real to me, and he knows how to play that helpless guy. The quiet, uneventful scenes are an important part of the movie to give you time to think, and are well realized, but still a bit too long sometimes, when you can see him walking through the city for over a minute and nothing happens, he just walks. But Sabu did great on the confusing part, never really telling you what's real or going to happen next. But although the moldy look is a part of the movie too, I think the picture quality could have been less miserable at times.

Unlucky Monkey is one of the movies you can watch and immediately know that what you see in front of you is a great piece of art, even though you can't really describe why or because of what elements, which is why I won't further try to. You will just have to watch and rate it for yourself. I suggest you look for a DVD of it somewhere. The movie has not been synchronized, only subtitled, but you'll see that this was the only smart thing to do with it.

One of the Top Asian Movies there are, if not one of the Top Worldwide.

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