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Criterion Reflections – Samaritan Zatoichi (1968) – #679

5 February 2017 2:00 PM, PST | CriterionCast | See recent CriterionCast news »

David’s Quick Take for the tl;dr Media Consumer:

Samaritan Zatoichi, the 19th film in the franchise and the fifth of six installments directed by Kenji Misumi (who started off the series with 1962’s original The Tale of Zatoichi) is a solid entry in the series that I can’t say is particularly unique or altogether distinctive from its predecessors. The aspect that stands out the most is that we get to see Zatoichi functioning in a role usually reserved for his backstory, that of a lethal yakuza enforcer, even though his companions in that early scene don’t seem to have any knowledge of his lethal capabilities. To them, he’s just a blind bumbling tagalong who could have just as easily been left behind. But as it turns out, Ichi is the guy who had to deliver the fatal blow to a young hothead who didn’t »

- David Blakeslee

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