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Zatoichi in Desperation (1972)
"Shin Zatôichi monogatari: Oreta tsue" (original title)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 455 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 12 critic

Star Shintaro Katsu sits in the director's chair for this psychedelic and unremittingly bleak entry in the Zatoichi series, which is unlike any other in its grind-house grimness. A tale of ... See full summary »

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Title: Zatoichi in Desperation (1972)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Shintarô Katsu ...
Kiwako Taichi ...
Nishikigi
Kyoko Yoshizawa ...
Kaede
Yasuhiro Koume ...
Katsuo Nakamura ...
Ushimatsu
Asao Koike ...
Boss Mangoro Kagiya
Jôji Takagi ...
Kamijo
Masumi Harukawa ...
Hama
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yoshihiko Aoyama ...
Takujiro
Yûtarô Ban
Tamotsu Fujiharu
Jun Fujikawa
...
Kagiya yakuza
Takaji Fukui
Rokku Furukawa
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Storyline

Star Shintaro Katsu sits in the director's chair for this psychedelic and unremittingly bleak entry in the Zatoichi series, which is unlike any other in its grind-house grimness. A tale of innocence corrupted by sadistic, sleazy criminality, the film is propelled by Easy Rider-esque editing and a trippy seventies funk score by Kunihiko Murai. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

21 February 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Zatoichi in Desperation  »

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(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Connections

Follows Zatoichi and the Fugitives (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dark, gloomy but fulfilling entry in the series.
22 March 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I revisited this one after a long period without watching any of the Zatoichi films, of which I own a few. I'm no expert on the series but this does seem to be one of the darkest ones, with less of a sense of humour or adventure and more injustice and hurt. The swordplay is fairly minimal, but the characters and drama are somewhat intense. The story sees Zatoichi trying to make amends after the accidental death of an old woman by freeing her daughter from a geisha house. He thus travels to a seaside town but finds doing the right thing is not simple, and he ultimately is drawn to confront the gang who are abusing the local fisherman. The first hour or so is gloomy stuff indeed, with scenes of harshness and an overall lack of Zatoichi's wry humour and as it goes on it does flirt with boredom, but maintains a thread of interest until the film takes off and heads for the reasonably satisfying climax. The direction by Shintaro Katsu is quite striking in its cramped style, often following events from half behind walls or furniture and often focused so tightly in on the action that it is almost hard to follow especially when combined with the visual gloominess. There is a claustrophobic feel that helps turn up the intensity but is not terribly enjoyable for the eyes. The parts when the events head for open spaces are thus all the more effective. The swordplay is filmed almost indifferently at times, some of the fighting barely registers, though there are a couple of intense moments as well as passages with good suspense. Ultimately I liked this film, but it isn't the most enjoyable of outings and though the seriousness is a good trait, there are better examples of sober chanbara films out there. I'd say this is worth a look for fans of the series, but people just starting out might well want to try an easier going outing.


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