A film from the start of Kinji Fukasaku's career. Like most of his contemporaries, he made an insane amount of movies during the 60s, so it's not exactly a freshman effort. Black Lizard is based on a Rampo story, the oddness of Rampo's original work certainly shines through. The film is quirky, fun and plenty weird.
Black Lizard is a famous thief who want to steal the "Star of Egypt" diamond. She concocts a plan where she'll kidnap the daughter of the jeweler who possesses the diamond, using her as ransom for the treasure. The jeweler finds out about Black Lizard trick and hires Akechi to protect his daughter.
A cast of quirky characters, lovely decors, a fun cat and mouse game between two cunning tricksters and some random weirdness all help to make this a pretty entertaining film. Fukasaku keeps things light and the short runtime is a big plus, even so the film does have some slight pacing issues halfway through. Better than expected though.