Episode 49: Blackmail Is My Life (1968, Kinji Fukasaku) / Dr. Giggles (1992, Manny Coto)

As you may have heard, America’s economy is in a state of deep hurting. This affects professionals of all kinds, especially small business owners and private practitioners. Fortunately for the characters in both our movies this week on An Alan Smithee Podcast business is always booming when your line of work is illegal, and if you’re criminally insane money is just a social construct for meatbags.

Hiroki Matsukata, star of Blackmail Is My Life, reflects early in the film how lucky he is to be living in the economic salad days of 1968 Japan. Everyone’s got walking around money and nothing supplies guilt-ridden vice like disposable income. For Matsukata, nothing supplies steady business like recreational bad behavior and with so many others on the supply side of bad behavior, he can blackmail those who supply the gambling and prostitution rather than their average joe customers. Matsukata and his gang have a lot of fun and games under the colorful lens of director Kinji Fukasaku until our merry backmailers bite off more than they can chew: the trick to trickle down economics is not to squeeze too hard those at the top. The schemes employed aren’t exactly a how-to guide for a new career but there are some valuable tips for swinging boomtown living.

While blackmail has always been a niche market, in 1992 the demand for one-liner spouting serial killers was at an all time low. Oversaturated by the likes of Freddy and Chucky, most consumers no longer were looking for quippy puns after being stabbed and analysts declared the industry dead. Then out of nowhere, ads began appearing in the back of Spider-Man comics for a bold new physician named Doctor Giggles who was producing astounding breakthroughs in the excessive use of medical-related post-mortem one-liners. As the bad guy from Darkman, Universal Pictures gave Larry Drake the coveted once in a lifetime role to immortalize the renowned Doctor Giggles in the film Dr. Giggles, thus inspiring a generation.

Prosperity, perversion and MURDER are just around the corner in this episode of An Alan Smithee Podcast.

NEXT EPISODE: ALAN SMITHEE PODCAST 50TH EPISODE SPECIAL! TOP 5 BEST AND WORST MOVIES & DEATH OF A GUNFIGHTER (1969, ALLEN SMITHEE) & THE BIRDS II: LANDS END (1994, ALAN SMITHEE)

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