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 »
After an artist is threatened by the yakuza into creating valuable but highly illegal pornography, the law aims to execute him. Zatoichi, having been honor bound to protect the man and his family, must now run against the law.
Zatoichi tries to unrest the mob rule over a small village all while the gang leader's bodyguard is actually the Yojimbo, secretly taking the gang down from the inside. Will the two heroes realize in time that they are on the same side?
Zatoichi arrives in a town where a gambling house is kidnapping its poor, debt-ridden patrons. A rival establishment moves to pay those debts and free the peasants, but this house's ... See full summary »
Blind masseur and master swordsman Zatoichi finds a robbed and fatally wounded pregnant woman, whose baby he delivers before she dies. He takes the baby in search of its father and finds the child's aunt, who is about to be forced into prostitution for want of a payment the dead mother was bringing. Zatoichi determines to save the woman from her fate. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Like an earlier Zatoichi film, "Zatôichi kesshô-tabi", this one starts with a dying woman and a baby that Zatoichi is to take to its father. Following the death of the mother, the credits roll and a singer who perhaps is well-liked in Japan begins singing--and the high nasal voice was really, really annoying. Perhaps it's just my Western sensibilities, but the song was tough to take. I think the singing is from Japanese Noh (a type of play)--but I am far from knowledgeable about those sort of things.
Once Ichi gets the baby to the proper town, he finds the child's aunt and gives it to her. Oddly, however, all along the route there a little boy has been following Zatoichi pelting him with rocks. When the father eventually comes to town and thanks the blind man for bringing the baby, the welcome is very short-lived. It seems that the brat who has been throwing stones at Zatoichi is the man's son--and he mistakenly thinks that Ichi killed his mother and stole her money (this WAS done but by a thief--not Ichi). However, when the father confronts Ichi, the blind man is not angry but agrees to help the family get the money--otherwise the aunt will be forced by the local boss into prostitution.
This leads to the very, very typical confrontation with the local strongman--a guy who naturally at first has his men attack Ichi, then pretends to be friends and then, ultimately, has an all-out battle with the blind man. In the final battle, the death tally is appropriately high and there are no huge surprises. However, the local constable was an interesting character and did give the film a few surprises. Otherwise, it's all very typical and familiar. Nothing extraordinary but another formulaic Zatoichi film.
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