I've learned via a post over at Cinebeats that Japanese director Yasuharu Hasebe has died at the age of 77. Hasebe started out at Nikkatsu as an assistant to Seijun Suzuki, and went on to be one of the few directors whose tenure at the studio spanned its Action, New Action and Roman Porno eras. During that time he made distinctive contributions to each of those trademark genres, including the lysergic kitsch-fest Black Tight Killers (one of those movies that seems like it was made with Teleport City in mind), the Meiko Kaji fronted Stray Cat Rock series, and the abysmally dark yet strangely antic Assault! Jack the Ripper. Cinebeats offers an excellent overview of Hasebe's career and films, with a welcome emphasis on those movies available on DVD here in the U.S. Elsewhere, my pal Houseinrlyeh has written an in-depth review of Assault! Jack the Ripperover on his blog The Horror!?