HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
Behind the Mask
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
   
 
  Zatôichi the Blind Swordsman Blind Rage
Year: 1989
Director: Shintarô Katsu
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Kanako Higuchi, Takanori Jinnai, Ryuutarô Gan, Yuya Uchida, Toyomi Kusano, Tsurutaro Kataoka, Miho Nakayama, Ken Ogata, Norihei Miki
Genre: Action, Martial Arts, HistoricalBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Zatôichi (Shintarô Katsu), the blind swordsman and travelling masseur, has been thrown in jail for insulting a judge and while there stoically puts up with the likes of having his meals stolen and receiving lashes as punishment. While incarcerated, he meets a young samurai who looks out for him, telling Zatôichi that he is an insurgent but by the time he is released, the swordsman is more interested in meeting up with an old friend than becoming drawn into politics. However, the now elderly Zatôichi has built up a reputation over the years and while there are those glad to be helped by him, many others are interested in winning the price on his head...

Shintarô Katsu starred in twenty-five Zatôichi films during the sixties and early seventies which were wildly popular in Japan, so when it came to reviving the character, he was allowed to co-produce, direct and even help out with the script. His hero is still recognisably the same character, but also an older and more reflective man; despite this he still turns out to be invincible in his fights, which are noticeably bloodier than they were before yet this late eighties version of the character doesn't provide non-stop action.

In fact, barely fifteen minutes, if that, of the two hours running time are given over to violence as mainly the plot wanders around vaguely philosophical themes as our hero proves himself better than all those bad guys out for his head. Yes, every so often Zatôichi will be assailed by anonymous hitmen and quick as a flash draws his blade and dispatches them forthwith, but there's a sense of these sequences that verges on the perfunctory. It's as if the star was saying, yes, here are your swordfights, but let's get them over with as quickly as possible because I'm not as young as I used to be: every burst of violence ends with the swordsman crouching on the ground as if all this has taken a lot out of him.

So now not only is Zatôichi a representative of the disabled, he's a representative of senior citizens as well, and that doesn't mean he's not going to have fun, oh no. One can only imagine the director writing in his own sex scene with a foxy twentysomething lady boss just to prove he's still got it where it counts because that's what happens here. But there are non-sleazy tender moments too, as when the swordsman offers a young foster mother of a group of orphans a mirror to keep so she can see in her own reflection the face of her mother; he even saves an egg that's fallen from a nest and nurtures it until it hatches then looks after the chick - what a nice chap. In truth, the plotline gets too mixed up with any number of bosses and assassins, too many really, and although the last battle with the blind man holding his own against a whole army is undeniably memorable and a top quality send off, you'd be better off starting with one of the original series if you're new to the character. Music by Takayuki Watanabe.

[The Arrow Region 2 DVD has... no extras. Not one. But it is subtitled.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2783 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
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: