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Zatôichi (1989)

7.4
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Nearing the village of his sensei, Zatoichi decides to pay the teacher a visit, only to learn that he has been murdered and his daughter forced into prostitution. Ichi's investigation into ... See full summary »

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Title: Zatôichi (1989)

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Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After being wounded in a fight, Zatoichi is nursed to health by a young woman and her father. Now indebted to the family, he works to protect their ferry business from local thugs.

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Zatoichi returns to his home village for the first time in over ten years to find much has changed and that corruption abounds.

Director: Kimiyoshi Yasuda
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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 »

Director: Shintarô Katsu
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Kiwako Taichi, Kyoko Yoshizawa
Drama | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

On the road, Zatoichi meets a dying pregnant woman and delivers the child moments before she passes. Honor bound, he sets out to find the next-of-kin who he discovers have their own problems.

Director: Kazuo Mori
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Rentarô Mikuni, Hisaya Morishige
Rônin-gai (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A group of masterless samurai living in Edo's red light district must fend off a militia bent on wiping out local prostitutes.

Directors: Kazuo Kuroki, Masahiro Makino
Stars: Yoshio Harada, Kanako Higuchi, Renji Ishibashi
Drama | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two of Japan and China's greatest heroic swordsman find themselves caught in a plot to protect a young child. But will national distrust and simple misunderstanding keep the two kindred spirits apart?

Director: Kimiyoshi Yasuda
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Yu Wang, Watako Hamaki
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Ichi seeks out on a pilgrimage to 81 temples, exploring spirituality to atone for his bloody past. On the way, Ichi stumbles into a village that's being bullied by a violent Yakuza boss and... See full summary »

Director: Kazuo Ikehiro
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Michiyo Ôkusu, Kunie Tanaka
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The story of a Ronin (i.e. a masterless samurai) who wanders the countryside of Japan with his small child, having various adventures.

Director: Kenji Misumi
Stars: Tomisaburô Wakayama, Fumio Watanabe, Tomoko Mayama
Drama | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Zatoichi is tricked by a crime gang into killing a man. Realizing his mistake, he sets out to protect the dead man's sister, who is conflicted in accepting his help.

Director: Kenji Misumi
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Yoshiko Mita, Makoto Satô
Drama | Adventure | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Cowritten by star Shintaro Katsu, this adventure pits Zatoichi against one of his most diabolical foes: a blind yakuza boss whose reign of terror and exploitation has made him nearly mythic... See full summary »

Director: Kenji Misumi
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Reiko Ôhara, Pîtâ
Action | Drama | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Zatoichi, while fighting off the usual group of gangsters, meets the apprentice of the swordsman who created his blade, who relays bad news about the sword.

Director: Kimiyoshi Yasuda
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Shiho Fujimura, Yoshihiko Aoyama
Drama | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Zatoichi runs afoul of some evil fugitives, working for a corrupt law official.

Director: Kimiyoshi Yasuda
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Kayo Mikimoto, Kyôsuke Machida
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Cast

Credited cast:
Shintarô Katsu ...
Kanako Higuchi ...
Boss Han Bosatsu
Takanori Jinnai ...
Inspector Hanshu
Ryûtarô Gan ...
Boss Goemon (as Takehiro Okumura)
Yûya Uchida ...
Boss Akabei
Toyomi Kusano ...
Ume
Tsurutarô Kataoka ...
Tsuru
Miho Nakayama
Ken Ogata ...
Rônin / Masterless samurai
Norihei Miki ...
Zatoichi's friend
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Naonori Aihara
Ryo Akashi
Buntaro Aoyanaki
Yosuke Ara
Gô Awazu ...
Kame
Edit

Storyline

Nearing the village of his sensei, Zatoichi decides to pay the teacher a visit, only to learn that he has been murdered and his daughter forced into prostitution. Ichi's investigation into these injustices uncovers a corrupt alliance between government officials and criminals, putting the blind swordsman on a bloody path of retribution in one of the series' darkest entries. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The final and most savage installment of the series. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 February 1989 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Shintaro Katsu's Zatoichi  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The last Zatoichi film to star Shintarô Katsu (who also produced, wrote and directed this film). See more »

Connections

Follows Zatoichi's Conspiracy (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Tsugaru Jongara Bushi
Sung by Kazuko Matsumura
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Can't really recommend this one.
2 March 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Looked forward to seeing this last version by the original actor. But, aside from the color photography, violent swordsmanship, and invocations of past films, which deserve praise (if you recall the bloodless b&w films of the 60's), I really had trouble with the plot lines and trying to follow along the meandering trail of who was who, what was what, and why they were doing what they were doing.

There were a lot of characters featured here, and the connections among them were not very clear. A scar faced villain appears early on, and then shows up toward the end to complete the circle. A woman who seems to have unexplained authority seduces the hero and then drops completely from sight. A minor character shows off his remarkable skill in effecting a kill and then dies rather unexpectedly and without fanfare at the end.

The sword fighting in this movie explodes with unexpected suddenness, after long scene setting or mood setting intervals, in various parts of the film. The depiction of violence is pretty good, but some scenes are absurd, such as the one in which a leader who has donned a make shift suit of armor made up of metal coins (ryo pieces)is stabbed repeatedly and spurts blood all over, like that braggadocio knight in the first MONTY PYTHON picture.

You have to suspend your disbelief that a blind man can survive against 30 or 40 or 50 to one odds, especially in one case where the bad guys have guns. Is the hero gifted like the Marvel Comics hero Daredevil with extraordinary hearing? And extra sensory perception? Well, that is the only explanation for his survival. Or the absolute incompetence of his enemies in being able to formulate a plan of attack against him.

So many plot lines, so many unresolved issues. Zatoichi is like a tornado who comes to a village, gambles a bit, massages a bit, plays with kids, makes friends here and there, and then sweeps away many lives, leaving death and destruction, and then goes his lonely way down a dirt road. Ordinary folks may come out and cheer (as at the end of this film) for the presumed end of some oppression, but you are left wondering where were these people throughout the movie. What happens after he leaves? Finally, there is so much ethnic tradition being depicted here that many people may have a hard time understanding what is happening. So, I can't recommend this film highly -- unless a film goer has a lot of familiarity with the previous films featuring Zatoichi and can tolerate some of the problems I referred to above. Maybe the color photography may make things bright. "Painting the Clouds with Sunshine," as that old song goes. Here, though, it's blood red.


7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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