2 user 1 critic

Sleepy Eyes of Death: Sword of Villainy (1966)

Nemuri Kyôshirô: Buraiken (original title)
The hero avenges a band of samurai whose master was unceremoniously assassinated for seeking justice and better conditions for the citizens. The city shall burn for the elite's greed.


Kenji Misumi


Daisuke Itô, Renzaburô Shibata (story)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Raizô Ichikawa ... Kyôshirô Nemuri
Shigeru Amachi ... Aizen
Shiho Fujimura ... Katsumi
Kentarô Kudô Kentarô Kudô ... Kotetsu
Ryûzô Shimada Ryûzô Shimada ... Isa
Yasushi Nagata Yasushi Nagata ... Senjûrô Shikibu
Tatsuo Endô ... Genshin Kusakabe
Kôichi Uenoyama Kôichi Uenoyama ... Minokichi Ichimonjiya
Ryôsuke Kagawa ... Hikoemon Yahikoya
Kôichi Mizuhara ... Tahei
Gen Takasugi Gen Takasugi ... Zensho
Ichirô Yûki Ichirô Yûki ... Muro (as Ichirô Yamamoto)
Shintarô Nanjô Shintarô Nanjô ... Kyûzô
Osamu Sakai Osamu Sakai ... Shima
Kayo Mikimoto ... Osoyo


This film of the sleepy-eyed ronin series has the hero involved when as an act of vengeance a band of samurai whose master was unceremoniously assassinated by agents of the clan, when he sought justice and better conditions for the citizens, takes shape. The city shall burn alongside the wealth of the greedy rich. Written by aghaemi

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Drama


Did You Know?


Nemuri Kyoshiro body-count: 12. See more »


Follows Sleepy Eyes of Death: The Chinese Jade (1963) See more »

User Reviews

A More Complex Story Than Usual for the Eighth Entry
14 September 2018 | by jrd_73See all my reviews

Sword of Villainy, number eight in the series, boasts a more complex story than the norm. While this is a potential strength, I found the film to be not one of the best in the series.

Sword of Villainy opens on a note of mystery. Someone is telling Kyoshiro Nemuri about an incident that happened at an oil supplier's home. The man, his wife, and their older daughter were tied up, but nothing was reported as stolen. The assailant, however, played with the family's younger daughter and did take something unreported from the storeroom. At first Nemuri is not too concerned by all of this. Only when three different sets of people confuse him with a supposedly dead leader of a people's rebellion does Nemuri get drawn into the action.

There is no villainess in this entry. The mysterious woman character is one of the few honest people in the film. Nemuri treats her accordingly, but Nemuri has nothing but contempt for most of the movers in the film's plot. One side values money, their greed coming at the expense of the well being of those less fortunate. Another side demands vengeance even at the price of the lives of many innocent bystanders. Corruption runs rampant in this entry. Even the bodyguards of the oil supplier are corrupt. They turn on their boss when they smell a bigger payday from those blackmailing the oil supplier.

Sword of Villainy has more characters than usual, some mystery, and a couple exciting action scenes (the rooftop duel between Nemuri and head avenger Aizen is one of the best in the series). Yet, I find it a lesser entry in the series. The film seems slower paced than some of the other entries. The ending leaves a few issues unresolved. Finally, although Aizen (Shigeru Amachi) is one of the most memorable villains in the series (and one of the best sword fighters), the plot point of the villain using Nemuri' Full Moon Cut technique against him was already done in the last entry, The Mask of the Princess.

I have seen the first eight films in this series in a relative short time frame, so maybe I am suffering from Sleepy Eyes of Death fatigue. Sword of Villainy is a decent entry, yet I found my attention wavering for much of the film (although I became increasingly interested as the film moved to a climax). Is that because of a less than enthralling film or a tired viewer?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

9 November 1966 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Sleepy Eyes of Death: Sword of Villainy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Daiei Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed