FantasticFest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and action movies from all around the world. Here's a list of some of our favorite movies at FantasticFest.
In the Edo period, a nameless ronin accepts an assignment to go to a mountain pass and wait. Near the pass he stops at an inn where a collection of characters gather, including a gang set ... See full summary »
The mother of a feudal lord's only heir is kidnapped away from her husband by the lord. The husband and his samurai father must decide whether to accept the unjust decision, or risk death to get her back.
February 17 to March 3, 1860, inside Edo castle. A group of assassins wait by Sakurada Gate to kill the lord of the House of Ii, a powerful man in the Tokugawa government, which has ruled ... See full summary »
Following the death of the second Tokugawa shogun, it is revealed that he was poisoned by retainers of his son Iemitsu in hopes of gaining him the shogunate despite the stammer and ... See full summary »
The Japanese ambassador is traveling through the Wild West by train, when gangsters hold up the train, to rob a gold shipment. They also carry an ancient Japanese sword the ambassador was ... See full summary »
The story of Sanshiro Sugata, a young man who wants to learn the new art of judo. A wise teacher reveals to Sanshiro that judo is not merely a means of combat nor a demonstration of ... See full summary »
The legend of the birth of Shintoism. In Fourth Century Japan, the Emperor Keikoh's son Ouso expects to succeed his father on the throne, but Otomo, the Emperor's vassal, prefers Ouso's ... See full summary »
Sukezaemon, a pirate, is shipwrecked in a strange corner of the world. With his companion, a wizard named Sennin, Sukezaemon becomes entangled in a plot by the evil premier to succeed the dying King Raksha.
The most intricate, thoughtful, satisfying samurai film ever made
"Whirlwind" is much more than just another Samurai film starring Toshiro Mifune. I have seen many samurai films, but Whirlwind is outstanding. It has one of the most intricate plots of any film in the genre, characters with real emotional depth and complexity across the board (this level of characterisation is often reserved for the hero in samurai films, but rarely applies to lesser characters), and wonderful cinematography. It is also a relatively rare example of a sequel that surpasses the first; it carries on from where Daredevil in the Castle left off. However, it is not necessary to see Daredevil first in order to understand what is going on. The tragedy is that this film has not received the recognition it deserves in the West in the form of a DVD release. Toshiro Mifune is excellent as ever, but the rest of the cast also deliver a very high standard. If you like samurai films, and you haven't seen Whirlwind, you should be prepared to sell your own grandma if necessary to secure a copy.
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