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Slaughter in the Snow (1973)
"Mushukunin mikogami no jôkichi: Tasogare ni senko ga tonda" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Action  |  1973 (Japan)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 75 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 4 critic

In feudal Japan, women are vulnerable, in need of protection, and capable of deception. Jokichi of Mikogami, a drifter, has not yet fully revenged the death of his wife and son. He searches... See full summary »



(adaptation), (comic)
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Credited cast:
Hajime Araki
Kai Atô
Takamori Gen
Jokichi of Mikogami
Toshio Hosoi
Renji Ishibashi
Kusuo Kita
Akiyoshi Kitaura
Hachirô Misumi
Hirasawa Nabuo
Setsuko Ogawa
Tamotsu Tamura
Kôji Tsutsui
Iwaki Yoshijiro


In feudal Japan, women are vulnerable, in need of protection, and capable of deception. Jokichi of Mikogami, a drifter, has not yet fully revenged the death of his wife and son. He searches for Kunisada Chuji, who in turn has hired the knife-throwing Windmill Kobunji to kill him. Kobunji and Jokichi meet in the winter, near Sasago Pass, when both have rescued women: Jokichi has saved the lute-playing Oyae whose clan and whose lover want her dead; Kobunji has rescued Oharu, a well-born woman married to an innkeeper. Is this rescue a whim or something deeper? And why does Jokichi become the consumptive Kobunji's protector? What ultimately will Jokichi do about Oyae? Written by <>

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1973 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Slaughter in the Snow  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Good, but ultimately disappointing.
7 August 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After following the first two installments of the Mikogami Trilogy and becoming used to the trilogies story and themes, Slaughter in the Snow (although a good film) is somewhat of a disappointment. In the first two films we watch Jokichi dispatch with two of the three men who killed his family. Part three strays from the path and becomes a slightly different animal. While the themes stay the same, Slaughter in the Snow deviates from the formula and never returns.

The third installment starts out similarly to the previous two. Jokichi is wandering when he comes across a man and woman who are to be killed by members of the Tozu gang. Of course, Jokichi intervenes to save the life of the woman (doesn't he always), which lands him into a heap of trouble with Boss Tozu. This time around however he's not alone. Windmill Kobunji is also quarreling with the Tozu gang because of a woman (go figure) and who has also taken a job for Kunisada Chuji (one of the three who murdered Jokichi's family) to kill Jokichi. However the two seem content to put off their rivalry and partner up in the meantime until they can get clear of Boss Tozu's territory.

Unlike the first two films, Slaughter in the Snow elects to follow both Jokichi's and Kobunji's altercations with the Tozu clan. Kunisada is mentioned, but never actually appears in the film. I personally wonder if the director meant to leave a piece of Jokichi's vengeance unrequited, or just couldn't secure the financing for a fourth film? Anyway, the film suffers(and benefits?) by having two main protagonists; Jokichi with his blood-stained sword and Kobunji with his deadly throwing knife. Both are excellent and their interactions as both enemies and allies help bring a breath of fresh air into the trilogy.

Slaughter in the Snow may not be the most action-packed in the trilogy, but it's definitely the bloodiest. Blood sprays out more often and more gratuitously then in the first two films. The choreography is excellent as always and the knife throwing scenes are quite entertaining. There aren't any major flaws in the film's action... although, I have to say, all the kicking of snow gets a tad bit ridiculous.

But the major reason why I felt disappointed in this film is not because of the film's action or characters, It's just a very unsatisfying conclusion to a trilogy. It feels as though their should be a fourth film... but unfortunately that never happened. The film itself is very well-done... but it just doesn't deliver the payoff that the first two films promise.

Bottom Line- Slaughter in the Snow is an entertaining Samurai movie, but just doesn't deliver what the trilogy promised.

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