Hanzo is an incorruptible and unorthodox officer in Edo, as famous for his self-discipline and his love shaft as his sword. Against the backdrop of his magistrate's occasional rounding up ... See full summary »
Feudal Japan, 1543 to 1562. Kansuke Yamamoto is a samurai who dreams of a country united, peaceful from sea to sea. He enters the service of Takeda, the lord of Kai domain. He convinces ... See full summary »
In the second film of the Lone Wolf and Cub series, Ogami Itto battles a group of female ninja in the employ of the Yagyu clan and must assassinate a traitor who plans to sell his clan's ... 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 »
Fifth film in the Lone Wolf & Cub Series. 5 warriors challenge Ogami to duels. Each has 1/5th of Ogami's assassin fee and 1/5 of the information he needs to complete his assassination. His ... See full summary »
Gennosuke, a clan retainer, kills one of the clan ministers as part of a plot to achieve reform. He is pursued by his former comrades, each hoping to complete the vendetta put on Gennosuke by the clan. With the help of a master swordsman, Yamane, Gennosuke has a chance at survival. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I'm a cornered and wounded beast. I can't afford to live by my conscience. My opponent is a strong warrior, it is true. But it's up to me whether I defeat him and take his gold, or am defeated by him... and left to die a dog's death in the hills.
See more »
Sword of the Beast is another one of those "anti-samurai" chanbara films like Harakiri or Samurai Rebellion. Unlike Kurosawa, whose samurai films delved into universal and humanistic themes, filmmakers like Kobayashi or Uchida concentrated specifically on the issues of feudal Japanese society. This early film by accomplished filmmaker Hideo Gosha is also socially conscious in that way.
It opens with a huge grass field reminiscent of that from Onibaba, but later shifts the setting to a Rashomon-like forest (near a mountain) where people are often obscured by the grass, bushes and trees in the similar attempt to portray the wickedness of the place's inhabitants who therefore "lost themselves" there. The main character, condemned by society, proves to be the most sane person around while the other characters are often compared to beasts.
The swordfighting scenes are swift and badass to the core. Gosha certainly knows how to film an exciting fight scene without it looking too cheesy, rushed or unrealistic. All in all, the action portions of the film are very exciting.
What I hate the most are the flashbacks, which, like in most Japanese films of that era, are scattered around without distinguishing them from present-time shots, which can be a little confusing sometimes. However, the story opens with a short narration giving us all of the necessary exposition so I guess the flashbacks aren't as bad in this movie as they can be in others.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?