I bought the DVD of Kibakichi, used from Blockbuster, simply on a whim. My friends and I were sifting through the racks when the unusual title caught my eye. As soon as I read the summary on the backcover I had to get it! Werewolf samurai? Demonic geishas? Come on, this had to be the most unique film ever created!
This film will definitely not appeal to everybody. I'm a hardcore fan of both samurai flicks and anime, so it probably appealed to me more than most people. The atmosphere of this film is perfect for the mysterious setting (the weather is almost always dark, overcast, and windy). Acting is subdued (you won't find William Shatner here), but strong and suitable for the type of characters involved. The special effects are laughably low-budget, which adds a nice, campy feel to the whole production. One can forgive the shoddy sfx, however, because they supply the only real laughs in the movie. The final battle scene alone is worth the money of buying or renting it. I guarantee that it is something that you have never seen before and never will again. Strangely enough, the werewolf samurai only transforms once, and not during a full-moon either. Only when he is unable to keep his emotions under control.
The bottom line is that this is a very cool, very interesting film that very few people on this side of the Pacific will see. If you like samurai flicks, the fantasy genre, Japanese period films, the supernatural, or are just feeling adventurous, check this one out. Even if you normally watch only conventional Hollywood fare you should give this a go. It'll give you something new to think about (or at least some pretty freakish dreams).
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