Members' Choice: Branded to Kill (1967)
When Japanese New Wave bad boy Seijun Suzuki delivered this brutal,
hilarious, and visually inspired masterpiece to the executives at his
studio, he was promptly fired. Branded to Kill tells the
ecstatically bent story of a yakuza assassin with a fetish for sniffing
steamed rice (the chipmunk-cheeked superstar Joe Shishido) who botches a
job and ends up a target himself. This is Suzuki at his most
extreme—the flabbergasting pinnacle of his sixties pop-art aesthetic. Film critics and enthusiasts now regard it as an absurdist masterpiece and it has been cited as an influence by filmmakers Jim Jarmusch, John Woo, Chan-wook Park and Quentin Tarantino, and composer John Zorn.