After an artist is threatened by the yakuza into creating valuable but highly illegal pornography, the law aims to execute him. Zatoichi, having been honor bound to protect the man and his family, must now run against the law.
Zatoichi tries to unrest the mob rule over a small village all while the gang leader's bodyguard is actually the Yojimbo, secretly taking the gang down from the inside. Will the two heroes realize in time that they are on the same side?
Blind masseur and master swordsman Zatoichi becomes involved with a gang of bandits hiding out in a small village. While they hide in the attic of a silk mill, they manipulate the corrupt chief official of the town. Simultaneously Zatoichi tries to rescue a young woman from the sweatshop conditions of the mill. Eventually he must confront not only the leaders of the town but the outlaw gang in battle. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Kimiyoshi Yasuda's Zatoichi and the Fugitives (not to be confused with the earlier entry called Zatoichi the Fugitive) strays a bit from the usual formula but it's still a recognizable Zatoichi picture in general and not a particularly good or a bad installment of the series at that.
The plot is typical; Zatoichi enters a town run by gangsters and corrupt officials - nothing new. But, despite the usual slow pacing, this entry is a bit more modern than its predecessors. The violence is pulpy, bloody and plentiful, there's a bit of comic nudity, the Spaghetti Western-like scoring style is perfected and perfectly combined with Zatoichi's new theme song, and the villains are noticeably more ruthless and sadistic than usual. There is also a lot of killing in this movie; it has what must be the largest body-count of any Zatoichi film so far and the final boss kill is particularly good. Fun fact; legendary actor Takashi Shimura appears as the benevolent town doctor (usually the same actors repeat in this series so it's always interesting to see a famous face).
Highlight of the film: Zatoichi removes a bullet from his shoulder using his cane-sword.
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