A woman, a survivor of a failed murder attempt by a person dubbed "The Half-Moon Killer" by the police, and her husband must find the connecting thread between herself, six other women, and... See full summary »
Pier Paolo Capponi
Miyazono again plays a character named Okatsu in the final installment, Okatsu the Fugitive (1969), as the devoted daughter of parents who are put to death for refusing to release a document that could send a venal merchant to prison.
According to IMDb and the DVD descriptions from Netflix, "Quick-Draw Okatsu" is the first sequel to "Yôen Dokufuden Hannya No Ohyaku". While the same lady star as Okatsu in both, however, it is NOT a sequel--as way too much of the story has nothing to do with the original tale. Why they did this, I have no idea. In the first film, Okatsu is the daughter of a prostitute and she has no family, as her mother killed herself. She spends most of the movie trying to punish those who killed her lover. However, here in "Quick-Draw", she has a brother and father and is a respectable member of society. It's as if NOTHING in the first film even occurred. So, this means you can see the second film without seeing the first but it also means you may well be disappointed.
Rintaro is Okatsu's brother. He has been raised to be a samurai but has no interest--he just wants to become a farmer and marry his sweetheart of very humble origins. The father is naturally incensed with this, but Okatsu gives him some money so he can make his way in life. However, some evil gamblers cheat Rintaro and are exposed by an odd lady Ronin (a masterless samurai warrior). In spite of this, they are determined to catch and kill Rintaro to hide their infamy. When Rintaro runs off, Okatsu offers to be punished in his place and the father offers to take the punishment instead of Okatsu. But, being evil, they punish BOTH--brutally killing the father and raping Okatsu and attempting to force her to become the mistress of the Boss, Shiozaki. Nice guys, huh?! More terrible things will happen and it will look very, very dark for our heroine--and a whole bunch of other scum will be added to her list for revenge.
Junko Miyazono plays the title role. While she's a nice actress, her swordsmanship is not all that great. Now I don't expect perfection (after all this is a fantasy), her skills aren't nearly as good as, say, Shintaro Katsu's (from the Zatoichi films) or his brother, Tomisaburo Wakayama (from the Lone Wolf films--and who appears in the Okatsu films and whose swordsmanship in this movie is amazing). Part of it might be her costumes--which allow little movement compared to most of the men's outfits. As for Reiko Ohshida, who played the ronin (Rui), she was more convincing in these fight scenes and I wished I'd seen more of her in the film. Plus, she was awfully adorable.
The bottom line is that if you like female revenge stories that predate Tarantino's "Kill Bill" films, then you'll like this film. For example, if you like the Japanese "Lady Snowblood" films, you are bound to enjoy this as well. I appreciated that although it had a lot of adult content, "Quick-Draw" did not come off as gratuitous--and despite another reviewer saying it was a predecessor of 'Pink' cinema, isn't exactly a Japanese Pink film (which feature soft-core pornography and are cheaply made--this film is neither). I also loved the two-story brothel set--it was pretty amazing to watch and quite effective (and, yes, I have seen this in a few other films before). And the acting was quite good--as was the story.
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