Stark, stylistic and no fooling around. Solid samurai action as a wandering ronin, "The Vicious Wolf", wanders into a volatile situation at a remote relay post. Of course there's a couple of beautiful woman and nasty political intrigue involved. Interesting characters abound many are master killers with fearsome reputations. The Vicious Wolf is a quirky character with a bizarre fighting style but his intentions are good if you get past his lack of bathing and his tendency to announce that he has no money after eating at an inn or using the services of a prostitute.
Director Gosha is clearly the stylistic inspiration for many Italian western directors, more so than Kurosawa. Too bad most spaghetti westerns never even came close to this film.
Excellent sword fighting, great photography, unique direction and a good cast. Recommended.
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