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|Index||23 reviews in total|
Version: Eastern Eye's R4 DVD release. Japanese / English subtitles.
I thought the ending of 'Lady Snowblood' was rather definite. It didn't exactly set itself up for a sequel, but, here we are. Sequel time - 'Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance'. I must admit, it is a cool title.
After avenging her mother in 'Lady Snowblood', Yuki (Meiko Kaji) is arrested by the new Japanese police. Sentenced to death, Yuki is granted a reprieve by Kikui (Shin Kishida), an agent of the secret police. Kikui will let Yuki live if she spies on Ransui Tokunaga (Juzo Itami), an active socialist. Yuki accepts Kikui's offer, but making that offer may not have been the smartest thing Kikui ever did...
The first thing you may notice about 'Lady Snowblood 2' is that there is a lack of vengeance. It seems to have been substituted for politics. Naturally, there is some vengeance, and the requisite amount of Yuki killing people, but 'Lady Snowblood 2' seems to grounded in the political and social climate of Japan in the early 1900s. I've studied a bit of Japanese history from this period at university, so the tie-in managed to maintain my interest. However, characters make references to the Hibiya Riots and the Russo-Japanese war, events that happened in 1905. This is supposedly set right after 'Lady Snowblood', which I believe was set in the 23rd Year of Meiji. By my reckoning, that would make 'Lady Snowblood' set around 1891. I think I've missed something, or gotten the Meiji years wrong. If someone doesn't correct me, I'm going to assume time-travel was involved. Time-travel? Cool!
Meiko Kaji turns into something of an acting robot in this outing. Yuki seems devoid of any emotion, and while that was a theme in the first, it was established that she was capable of human feeling. However, she still makes a good assassin. Although we have more politics and less action, the action we do get is still pretty good, if dated.
'Lady Snowblood 2' stands in the shadow of its prequel. The first movie outshines this movie in every way, but the second is still entertaining. Worth a look for fans of the first - 7/10
As a die hard fan of the original from the first time I saw it, it was
only natural for me to hunt down this follow up. While the original had
a more simplistic, vengeance orientated plot, this sequel unfortunately
bites off a bit more than it can chew as it weaves Yuki in with the
politics of early 20 Century Japan and the events of the Russo-Japanese
war. Overall it feels like the film is just cashing in on the
popularity of Kaji Meiko generated by the first film.
That said, it still manages to entertain from the very start, with a wonderful sequence of Yuki hacking her way through a load of bad guys. Meiko lost none of her charisma from the original, which is really essential here as the film itself starts to trip of it's own plot after a while. The fact that politics is the theme here rather than vengeance doesn't give her quite as much to work with, but her ability to convey almost all of her emotions through her eyes is still a joy to watch.
Ultimately it is worth watching if you liked the original and find Kaji Meiko's presence to be enough to hold your attention. If you value a gripping plot over tremendous acting you'd be better of skipping this. The fact that the first film had both these elements and the sequel only has one makes it an inferior but still highly entertaining follow up.
The stunning Meiko Kaji reprises her role as Shurayuki-hime (roughly translated "Princess Snow-Hell"), the beautiful agent of death. This time she is not out for personal vengeance, but is caught up in the political intrigue of the Meiji era of 19th century Japan. Caught between revolutionaries and secret policemen, Yuki makes sure the bad guys meet a particularly nasty end. It's great to see a samurai film featuring a female in the lead role. It was co-written by Kazuo Koike of "Lone Wolf and Cub" fame and features a role by Juzo Itami who later went on to direct "Tampopo" and "A Taxing Woman" among other films. Director Toshiya Fujita has a wonderful sense of color and this movie is a vibrant and violent classic.
The first film had a solid story, good acting, and some nice stylistic flourishes. This film has a rambling story that doesn't carry any of the emotional weight of the first one. Kaji Meiko was spell binding in the original, but here she isn't given much to do. The sword fighting scenes are far less bloody than the original which is a good or bad thing depending on your taste. To me it's bad. The straight choreography of both films was lacking compared to Hong Kong films and some of the better Samurai films, but the exaggerated gruesomeness of the original's scenes gave it a kick. Here it seems as though they were trying to shoot the scenes as quickly as possible (lots of long takes). The second film didn't have the humor either. Just stick with the first one.
The general consensus here on IMDb seems to be that Love Song of
Vengeance isn't quite as good as its predecessor, Blizzard from the
Netherworld. Not one to toe the line, I would say that it is easily as
entertaininga little more complex and bit less bloody perhaps, but
still a very worthy addition to the 70s Japanese exploitation genre.
Having somehow survived being shot and stabbed in the first film, Yuki (Meiko Kaji) is trapped by the police and found guilty of killing 37 people. On the way to the gallows, she is rescued by the Japanese secret police, who want her to go undercover as a maid to spy on anarchist Ransui Tokunaga (Jûzô Itami) who is in possession of a letter that could be used to incite riots and topple the government.
But when Yuki learns that the letter contains evidence of a conspiracy to frame innocent anarchists for an act of unrelated terrorism, she decides that the corrupt officials involved need to be taught a lesson.
It's easy to understand how this more serious, politically themed plot might not sit well with those who enjoyed the simplistic revenge tale of the original, but I found the story engrossing. As far as the violence is concerned, there may not be quite the volume of bloodletting as first time around, but when it happens, it is suitably nasty, with brutal scenes of torture, graphic eye trauma, and an over-the-top finalé which involves hacked-off limbs and arterial spray.
7.5 out of 10, rounded up to 8 for IMDb.
At the end of the first Lady Snowblood film, it sure didn't look like
there could be a sequel. First, all the bad guys who needed killing
were dead and her need for revenge was complete. Second, she sure
looked like she was dead or soon would be. Yet here we have Ykui
showing up yet again. This time, however, instead of just killing off a
few evil vermin, she's apparently been quite busy--with something like
37 killings to her credit. However, when you see her fighting at the
beginning of this film you wonder how she could have done this, as the
choreography and her skills were not especially impressive. The
illusion of her great power was better in the first film--here the
sword play looks a bit rough at times--but it's still worth seeing.
This film finds her a wanted woman throughout Japan--and oddly the film is set about a decade or more ahead of the last film, though she looks exactly the same. Tired of fighting, she eventually allows herself to be arrested. She's soon convicted of murder and sent to execution. However, on the way, she's rescued by some unscrupulous officials who want her to do their bidding in exchange for her release. It seems they want her to bring them a certain important document and then kill the man who is hiding it. However, when she hears the intended victim's story, she realizes that the government officials are much like the scum she killed in the last film and she refuses to act. What's next? Will they kill the man, get the document or get Lady Snowblood to work for them or kill her? Tune in and see.
Like the first film, this one has a lot of blood--though not the squirting and spurting geyser-like variety this time (at least not until the very end). Unlike the first one, this one also has some nudity. However, whether either has nudity or not isn't that important in regard to whether or not you let the kids see them--the violence, to me, is much more of a deciding factor.
As for an older audience, the film is worth seeing--just don't expect it to be nearly as original or interesting as the first film. This one just isn't as good in every single way--though for fans of Japanese films, it's still worth seeing. Very adequate.
By the way, in one scene, Yuki throws a knife up into the ceiling--impaling a man's hand in the process. Yet, despite this, moments later you see a close up of the bloody hand and there clearly is no hole or wound of any kind. Now I am NOT suggesting they should have mutilated the guy in order to provide better continuity---just not shown a close up of the hand itself.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
*Plot and ending analyzed*
I guess if you have the brain of a gerbil and chew sugar candy all day, this film should fit your bill just fine. Others might want a little more in the way of a coherent story. There are parts of Lady Snowblood that are atmospheric and colorful, but the idea is not handled with enough competency, or even concern.
Lady Snowblood is some dull, waif of a woman, who has a feeble umbrella sword, whom she uses to chop in half corpulent bodies, hands, limbs and heads. Okay. The enemies are as imbecilic as the premise, even unable to fight such a woman. They just sit by and wait to be "chopped up". I must admit that the high reviews made me think these films would rate as high as Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman or Lone Wolf and Cub, but they are nowhere near as great.
Lady Snowblood - Love Song of Vengeance has her doing the same great sweeps of her little, feeble umbrella sword and they added some political rubbish to the play as well.
Still, they are worth a look for the time.
Lady Snowblood 2: Love Song of Vengeance was quite different from the first Lady Snowblood. That one concentrated on the story of her revenge for deeds against her mother 20 years in the past. This one uses the framework of the clash between the rising authoritarian nationalist movement under the first Meiji emperor and the rising class of urban poor led by intellectual nihilists. It's pretty funny seeing kids skipping down the city streets singing songs about Japan being victorious over Russia in the 1905 war. Our Lady is swept along by these events rather than controlling them. After being sentenced to death for her deeds in the first film, she is "rescued" on the way to the gallows by the emperor's secret police and recruited to infiltrate the nihilists who have documents that could bring down the government. Lady Snowblood switches sides and we progress through torture, bubonic plague as a weapon of mass destruction, and class warfare. The film is carried more by the characters around Snowblood than by her, especially the two anti-government brothers that Snowblood befriends, as well as the police chief, who can't get a break in this movie. He's the bad guy but reminds me of Inspector Clouseau, whether falling off his horse or getting his eye poked out. However, she does what she needs to do and provides the action we expect. Altogether, I enjoyed this one better than the first. 7 of 10.
Toshiya Fujita's "Shura-yuki-hime: Urami Renga" aka. "Lady Snowblood 2:
Love Song Of Vengeance" of 1974 is a quite different, but more than
decent sequel to Fujita's blood-soaked and beautiful 1973 gem
"Shurayukihime" (aka. "Lady Snowblood"). While the film does not nearly
reach the greatness of its superb predecessor, "Love Song Of Vengeance"
is yet another original and highly entertaining film that no lover of
Japanese Cinema in general, and Chambara and Japanese Exploitation in
particular should consider missing. The film sadly cannot compete with
its predecessor's unique style and beauty, but it is still stylish, and
furthermore delivers a good story, and, most memorably, the wonderful
Meiko Kaji, who comes back with greatness as the eponymous
As it was the case with several other sequels to popular Japanese 70s exploitation flicks, the sequel adds some political/social commentary to the mainly vengeance-based plot of its predecessor. Obviously, the film is set several years after the events in the original "Lady Snowblood". Yuki/Lady Snowblood (Meiko Kaji) is captured, and sentenced to death for the thirty-seven killings committed by her in the predecessor. She is then offered to carry out an assassination in order to escape her execution... I don't want to give away more, but I can assure that the plot gets quite interesting for my fellow Chambara-fanatics. Japanese Exploitation-Goddess Meiko Kaji (one of my personal favorite actresses ever) is once again stunningly beautiful and brilliant in her role. My personal favorite Kaji role will always be that of female prison escapee Nami Matsushima in the brilliant "Joshuu Sasori" (aka. "Female Prisoner Scorpion") films, but the role of Lady Snowblood is also essential, and no lover of Cult-cinema could afford to miss her in the role (especially in the original, but also in the sequel). Meiko's presence alone would make any film worthwhile, in my opinion, and the film has a lot more to offer. The film's is, once again, filled with quite a bit of stylish bloodshed, which is not quite as aesthetic, but at some points even bloodier than in the predecessor. Unfortunately, the score in this one is not as memorable as that in the original (for which Meiko Kaji sang the theme song), and yet it is more than decent. Nowadays, the "Lady Snowblood" films are probably best known for being the main inspiration for Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" films, but they sure deserve more attention for their own sake. The first film, "Lady Snowblood", is brilliant, and while "Love Song Of Vengeance" is not the masterpiece its predecessor was, it is still a highly entertaining, stylish and memorable film that I highly recommend to every lover of Chambara and Cult Cinema. My rating: 7.5/10
Well-made, but unpleasant sequel to one of the greatest cult Japanese films of the 70's, "Lady Snowblood II: Love Song of Vengeance." This installment focuses less on classic blood spray sword fight scenes and more on the corrupt politics of the time. Fascinating history lesson, but of course the more serious subject matter does mean less fun. The film itself looks beautiful, with extravagant sets and costumes, and an excellent music score, and Meiko Kaji gets to show a more human side of her persona here. One thing that must be mentioned is that the violence factor in this sequel is more extreme; although there is less of the theatrical arterial blood sprays here, we get instead some thoroughly unpleasant and grisly scenes of human torture, including stabbings, burnings, eye gougings, savage beatings, as well as one man being injected with plague, which causes his skin to break out in nasty sores. A few scenes are kind of sickening, and i wasn't really expecting such serious subject matter. The film does tend to drag a bit in the middle segment, but comes back strong for the final third, when Yuki gets her revenge on the corrupt officials who have looted and burned an entire village for their own financial gain. Peopled with some truly slimy villains, and a heroic finale, this is a worthy sequel to a classic.
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