Film: Strange Psychokinetic Strategy
Yes, that's an Ascot he's wearing.Lupin III: Strange Psychokinetic Strategy note
was not just the first Live-Action Adaptation
, but also the first Lupin III
film ever made. It was released by Toho
in theaters on August 3, 1974. Discotek managed to acquire the rights to license the movie in North America on DVD in 2006. Director Takashi Tsuboshima
chose to make the first film an Origins Episode
, instead of using the "Continuing adventures" theme that later anime movies would use. The Lupin III (Green Jacket)
series was just getting syndicated now, and this film would tell the story of what happened before
Lupin the Second, head of the world-wide criminal organization, the "Lupin Empire", is dead. Daisuke Jigen, last faithful member of the organization, has come to Japan to find the lost son of his boss, so that the boy can rebuild the fallen empire his ancestors created. Unfortunately for him, Lupin doesn't care about his father and grandfather's empire. He's too lazy to worry about creating anything like that. Jigen refuses to be dissuaded, and sticks next to his boss's son as much as he can. That's great luck for Lupin, as he's about to meet the most beautiful woman in his life, get attacked by assassins sent by an Italian mafia, and dodge several more schemes by the zealous Zenigata who's already trying to capture him.
That's the basic plot, which is ignored largely in favor of entertaining hijinks and slapstick
similar to The Benny Hill Show
Tropes used by this Live Action Adaptation:
- Dog Pile of Doom: When the nuns try to dogpile onto Lupin, he just sneaks out from under their legs. Then turns around to watch them some more.
- The Film of the Series: It is hard to say if the film was based more on the Manga, or the Anime series, but either way, the film takes many liberties with the basic characters, forming a new story specific to the film, as well as serving as an Origins Episode for Lupin, Jigen, and Fujiko. Since Lupin tends to operate on Negative Continuity, an Alternate Continuity is perfectly acceptable explanation of events and clothes.
- Knockout Gas: Yellow smoke knocks out the police for the diamonds heist. Sprayed by a cymbals-crashing monkey.
- Live-Action Adaptation: of Lupin III.
- Mugged for Disguise: Done to Lupin by Fujiko, after he's helped her to escape from prison. Inspector Zenigata finds him unconscious near the women's prison wearing only a prison uniform shirt.
- No Hugging, No Kissing: Lupin's interest in Fujiko is clear, but the sly Femme Fatale is easily slipping away from him every time he tries to lean in for a kiss or wrap his arms around her. She doesn't care for you Lupin! She's just using you!
- Origins Episode: This movie tells us how Lupin meets Jigen and Fujiko, as well as why Jigen is so loyal.
- The Pratfall: Some of Lupin III's pratfalls, as performed by Yuki Meguro, are an art unto themselves – with a completely stiff, still body, he falls straight back like a cartoon cat recently hit by an anvil.
- Prison Escape Artist: Fujiko needs Lupin's help to escape from jail. He promises to free her in exchange for a date. Of course, just because he's successful at getting them out, doesn't mean he's going to get anything in repayment.
- Scooby-Dooby Doors: Lupin and Jigen are relaxing in an abandoned construction area for the night, with man-sized concrete pipes all over the place. Zenigata and his subordinates come looking for Lupin. Jigen expects a fight, but is told to leave by Lupin. Lupin leads the cops on a merry chase with the pipes substituting for doors, even sitting down to a picnic in the middle of the chase while the police officers are running around the construction site trying to capture him.
- Slapstick: Using slapstick comedy is how, even if the plot can be said to be non-existent, the movie itself remains entertaining. Watch it in the mind of a series of slapstick scenes held together by a larger plot, and you'll wet yourself laughing at the cast's loony antics.
- Undercrank: Used in most of the chase scenes, especially the one in the construction supplies.