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 »
Shiba, a wandering ronin, encounters a band of peasants who have kidnapped the daughter of their dictatorial magistrate, in hopes of coercing from him a reduction in taxes. Shiba takes up ... 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.
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 »
Impersonating an Imperial Army officer by wearing a "red lion's mane", a poor servant returns to his village after 10 years of absence to end the village's suffering caused by corrupt ... See full summary »
Kihachi Okamoto's Kill! is an anti-samurai film same as his Sword of Doom. In the latter, the protagonist is a sociopathic nut instead of a virtuous hero. In the former, the main guy is a comical figure who nevertheless talks normally instead of using the typical scruffy samurai talk. Kill! pokes fun of that one, and of many other tropes and clichés found in samurai films (some of those jokes unfortunately end up being lost in translation).
Kill! is very entertaining, but the plot is too convoluted and confusing. Take the first 15 minutes for example - new characters enter and leave the screen as they please, names are thrown and exchanged rapidly, sides are taken and scenes fly by before you can get what's even happening. Fortunately, the storyline becomes clearer later on. I still dislike how the movie's editing is constantly so erratic, especially in its opening. Some scenes, like the party segment when Tabata meets Oyo work best when edited in such a dynamic manner, but the majority of the film's pacing is all over the place.
The shot compositions are wonderful like in many Japanese films at that time, and although many shots last too short to be admired, they are combined with the restless edits in an unique way, showing us a big, open world. Also, the music is really cool, one of the best samurai movie soundtracks ever.
As a bit of trivia, this is based on the same novel (The Peaceful Days) as Kurosawa's Sanjuro. However, Kill! seems to have more connections to Yojimbo, particularly the rundown village in the intro scene, which looks almost identical to the town in Yojimbo because of huge gusts of wind blowing dust all over the place.
Despite some of its narrative weaknesses, Kill! is a very fun and exciting movie, with great music, good sword fights and lots of exaggerated acting as a spoof of samurai film tropes.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?