Japan

Satsuo Yamamoto – Tengu-to aka Blood End (1969)

Quote:
BLOOD END is one of the great unknown films from Japan’s golden era of the late 1960’s. Starring NAKADAI Tatsuya in one of his best roles, this is the story of the Mito Tengu Group who attempted to overthrow the Shogunate at the beginning of the Bakumatsu Period. Their political aspirations led to countless assassinations, as well as senseless killing of innocent people who got in their way. Sentaro (NAKADAI), a farmer who’s been severely beaten for his outspoken defiance of the government and the high taxes during a time of famine is befriended by one of the group’s leaders, KADA Gentaro (KATO Go) and joins up. Read More »

Kenji Misumi – Kozure Ôkami: Shinikazeni mukau ubaguruma AKA Lone Wolf and Cub III: Baby Cart to Hades (1972)

Synopsis:
Based on the best-selling manga series, the six intensely kinetic Lone Wolf and Cub films elevated chanbara to bloody new heights. The shogun’s executioner, Itto Ogami (Tomisaburo Wakayama), takes to wandering the countryside as an assassin—along with his infant son Daigoro (Akihiro Tomikawa) and a seemingly infinitely weaponized perambulator—helping those he encounters while seeking vengeance for his murdered wife. Delivering stylish thrills and a body count that defies belief, Lone Wolf and Cub is beloved for its brilliantly choreographed action sequences as well as its tender depiction of the bonds between a parent and a child. Read More »

Kenji Misumi – Kozure Ôkami: Sanzu no kawa no ubaguruma AKA Lone Wolf and Cub II: Baby Cart at the River Styx (1972)

Synopsis:
Based on the best-selling manga series, the six intensely kinetic Lone Wolf and Cub films elevated chanbara to bloody new heights. The shogun’s executioner, Itto Ogami (Tomisaburo Wakayama), takes to wandering the countryside as an assassin—along with his infant son Daigoro (Akihiro Tomikawa) and a seemingly infinitely weaponized perambulator—helping those he encounters while seeking vengeance for his murdered wife. Delivering stylish thrills and a body count that defies belief, Lone Wolf and Cub is beloved for its brilliantly choreographed action sequences as well as its tender depiction of the bonds between a parent and a child. Read More »

Ishirô Honda – Furankenshutain tai chitei kaijû Baragon AKA Frankenstein Conquers The World (1965)

With Berlin falling, Nazi doctors ship the beating heart of the Frankenstein monster to Tokyo by U-boat. A Japanese military scientistin Hiroshima intends to use the heart, which cannot die, to create an army of invincible soldiers. Unfortunately, the heart is barely unpacked when the U.S. Air Force A-bombs the city. Nothing more is heard of the matter until a feral boy with a strange brow shows up fifteen years later… Read More »

Kazuo Ikehiro – Zatôichi senryô-kubi AKA Zatoichi and the Chest of Gold (1964)

Synopsis:
After paying his respects at the grave of a man he accidentally killed, the legendary blind swordsman Zatoichi (played in top form as always by Shintaro Katsu) arrives at a village where the impoverished locals are in mid-celebration. It seems they’ve finally gathered enough money to pay off their heavy tax burden – a great relief to everyone in this drought-stricken area. At first, they invite Ichi to join in their fun. When the money is stolen by a group of samurai thugs, however, the villagers blame Ichi too, thinking that he’s in on the heist. Desperate to clear his name, Ichi swears to find those responsible and return the money. But it won’t be easy. First, Ichi has to investigate a local and much loved boss, who has gone into hiding. Then he’ll have to tangle with those thugs… including one of his toughest adversaries yet – a samurai by the name of Jushiro who wields a dangerous bullwhip as skillfully as a sword. Read More »

Tôru Murakawa – Mottomo kiken na yuugi AKA The Most Dangerous Game (1978)

Quote:
Hitman Narumi is asked to rescue a kidnapped businessman who is involved in an air defense project. Narumi nearly succeeds but a stray shot kills the hostage. Nevertheless the person who hired Narumi now has another mission for him. Read More »

Isao Yukisada – Tojiru hi AKA Enclosed Pain (2000) (DVD)

Yuri and Takumi are brother and sister who faced unusually harsh treatment by their father. An act of brutality keeps them extremely close together until an older couple occupy the house where their secret was buried. Read More »