HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Zatoichi's Revenge Sightless but deadly
Year: 1965
Director: Akira Inoue
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Norihei Miki, Mikiko Tsubouchi, Takeshi Kato, Fujio Harumoto, San'emon Arashi, Jun Katsumura, Gen Kimura, Sachiko Kobayashi, Sonosuke Sawamura
Genre: Martial Arts, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Returning to a village from his past, blind gambler swordsman Zatoichi (Shintarô Ichi) is aghast to learn things have taken a turn for the worst. His old masseur teacher was murdered and the man's virginal daughter, Sayo (Mikiko Tsubouchi) has been imprisoned at the local brothel where she and other prostitutes are subject to all kinds of abuse. Ichi's attempt to spring her free is derailed by the arrival of Isoda (Fujio Harumoto), a high ranking official at the Imperial court who enjoys liaising with prostitutes. Forming a fast a friendship with wily dice thrower Denroku the Weasel (Norihei Miki) and his perky young daughter Tsuru (Sachiko Kobayashi), Ichi learns Isoda is helping yakuza Boss Tatsugoro (Sonosuke Sawamura) fiddle his taxes. Unfortunately events force Denroku to choose between helping his friend Zatoichi and protecting his daughter.

Any film franchise reaching its tenth installment is bound to seem a little formulaic. Even though there were plenty of triumphs to come for the Zatoichi series by the time Zatoichi's Revenge rolled into cinemas audiences could practically set their watch by the predictability of the plot. Once again Ichi arrives somewhere he has been before only to find evil afoot. Thereafter he rescues a damsel in distress, befriends a plucky orphan, uses his super senses to score big money at the local gambling den and squares off against a super-skilled adversary. All very predictable. Yet bolstering this stock plot were some high calibre performances, not least from star Shintarô Katsu, along with a set of visuals with an interestingly experimental edge.

Zatoichi's Revenge marks the moment when the series transitioned from stately traditional chanbara in the classic Akira Kurosawa style towards a funkier sensibility paving the way for such hallucinogenic martial arts epics as the Lone Wolf and Cub movies that were of course produced by Shintarô Katsu. Avant-garde editing, black and white flashbacks intercut with present day colour, hand-held point-of-view shots and creative use of both ambient sound effects and eerie, unsettling silence all manage to alleviate the predictable nature of the plot and turn this into something quite compelling. This was only the second movie made by Akira Inoue, a prolific filmmaker active to this day and best known for his cult women in prison movie, er, Women's Prison (1968). Foreshadowing that film Inoue focuses on the suffering and camaraderie among the imprisoned whores. Although the action is nowhere as sleazy or gratuitous as, say, Bamboo House of Dolls (1973), he does not shy away from scenes where they are brutally beaten and abused observed from afar by a justifiably appalled Zatoichi.

Away from the harsher aspects of the plot, Inoue also doles out those lyrical moments of poetry and comedy that make any Zatoichi movie worth savouring. Notably a sequence with Ichi walking through the woods hand-in-hand with young Tsuru. As they duet on a charming folk song he quietly kills a would-be assassin before gently urging her to keep singing. The sub-plot wherein sweet, innocent Tsuru gradually has her eyes opened to the more unsavoury aspects of her father's character yet still loves him enough to steal Ichi's sword prove quietly affecting. Denroku emerges a particularly lively, engaging and faceted supporting player and even gets his own amusing action sequence. Interestingly, for a change the big baddie of the piece Boss Tatsugoro turns out to be a blustering fool as the real brains is his yojimbo (bodyguard) Kadokura (Takeshi Kato). Which leaves it all the more surprising when Kadokura is disposed of so early. This renders the climax, wherein Ichi takes on the entire town single-handed (again, a scene done many times before and set to be repeated many times once more) dramatically lightweight albeit an undeniable triumph of action choreography.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1804 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: