Zatoichi arrives in a town where a gambling house is kidnapping its poor, debt-ridden patrons. A rival establishment moves to pay those debts and free the peasants, but this house's ... See full summary »
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 »
Before he portrayed the legendary blind swordsman, Zatoichi, Shintaro Katsu played Suganoichi, a blind court masseur with a dark side. An outcast since birth, he learned from a young age ... See full summary »
An evil gang attacks the Chi school of Golden Sword Kung Fu. One student sacrifices his life to save his teacher and his school, his dying wish is that his son be taken in as a student. ... 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 »
Hanzo is an incorruptible and unorthodox officer in Edo, as famous for his self-discipline and his love shaft as his sword. Against the backdrop of his magistrate's occasional rounding up ... See full summary »
A humble and simple Takezo abandons his life as a knight errant. He's sought as a teacher and vassal by Shogun, Japan's most powerful clan leader. He's also challenged to fight by the ... See full summary »
With his closest friend, Matahachi, Takezo (the town's wild, orphan kid) leaves his village to join an army on its way to battle. After their side loses, they seek shelter in the isolated ... See full summary »
After years on the road establishing his reputation as Japan's greatest Samurai, Takezo returns to Kyoto. Otsu waits for him, yet he has come not for her but to challenge the leader of the ... See full summary »
Zatoichi arrives in a town where a gambling house is kidnapping its poor, debt-ridden patrons. A rival establishment moves to pay those debts and free the peasants, but this house's seemingly altruistic boss is actually laying the groundwork for a ruthless money-grabbing scheme. The sixteenth Zatoichi film is the first from its star's own Katsu Productions, and is one of the series' most daring. Written by
Im back from hell...because I wanted to settle things with you
So far I have watched all 15 of the Zatoichi movies preceding Zatoichi the Outlaw and this title surprised me the most. Zatoich the Outlaw still uses the 'tried and tested' formula of a typical Zatoichi movie with a few subtle changes that gives this film a fresh take on the franchise.
This is largely thanks to the fact that this is the first film done by the Katsu Production Co. The few subtle changes I referred to was firstly brought on by the use of plot devices such as the flow of time to help demonstrate how the true nature of man can change with time.
Secondly, the movie gives a short glimpse of Zatoichis' life as a masseur in a mountain-side village. This part of the movie was my favorite part as it depicts Zatoichi as a lone drifter that tries to fit in a village of people that recognizes him as someone special, an outsider. His dealings with fellow blind massuers'(anma); rich-folk and a beautiful girl sums him up nicely as an individual in these few short scenes.
This film also didn't shy away when it came to violence. Severed limbs and blood abound demonstrates Zatoichis' deadly swordmanship. In many of the previous films it felt like he was merely hitting his opponents with a stick as there was hardly any evidence of fatal injuries and such.
The cinematography is top-notch,the Katsu Production Co. went all out: Picturesque Japanese landscapes; tons of extras dressed up in the appropriate period attire and vibrant colors never before seen in a Zatoichi film. The actors did a stellar job, Rentarô Mikuni that played Asagoro deserves special credit for his truly versatile ability to depicts both sides of human cruelty. The Katsu Production Co. obviously avoided using the same actors that circulated through the series,some actors have played as 5 different characters in the previous films! I was quite surprised when I saw some of the IMDb user reviews writing the film up as the first let down in the long-running series. To the contrary, this film in my opinion is one of the best so far.
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