February 17 to March 3, 1860, inside Edo castle. A group of assassins wait by Sakurada Gate to kill the lord of the House of Ii, a powerful man in the Tokugawa government, which has ruled ... See full summary »
Loyal samurai Samanosuke is attacked, mutilated, and left for dead while carrying out a mission for his clan. He recovers but has lost an eye and an arm. Taking a new identity as Tange ... See full summary »
After going to prison for killing the boss of the Kanno gang, a gangster gets released early - only to find that his ex-gang has merged with the Kannos. But with bitter resentments lingering on both sides, bloodshed is bound to begin anew.
Fresh out of prison, a broken man reluctantly takes a job to kill three men, but changes his mind when some gangsters target the same men. He then tries to find out why the men are being targeted in the first place.
Stark, stylistic and no fooling around. Solid samurai action as a wandering ronin, "The Vicious Wolf", wanders into a volatile situation at a remote relay post. Of course there's a couple of beautiful woman and nasty political intrigue involved. Interesting characters abound many are master killers with fearsome reputations. The Vicious Wolf is a quirky character with a bizarre fighting style but his intentions are good if you get past his lack of bathing and his tendency to announce that he has no money after eating at an inn or using the services of a prostitute.
Director Gosha is clearly the stylistic inspiration for many Italian western directors, more so than Kurosawa. Too bad most spaghetti westerns never even came close to this film.
Excellent sword fighting, great photography, unique direction and a good cast. Recommended.
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