In 1844 Japan, young Lord Naritsugu (Inagaki) is such a sadist that he's about to end a long period of peace. And his merciless rampage of rape, torture and death goes unchallenged because he's the Shogun's half-brother. Shocked by where this is heading, top samurai Shinzaemon (Yakusho) assembles a team of 12 warriors to take him out. It's clearly a suicide mission. And they pick up a wild-eyed 13th colleague (Iseya) on the way to setting an elaborate trap for Naritsugu and his 200-strong entourage.
Continue reading: 13 Assassins Review
We meet the bandaged Mr. Okuyama (Tatsuya Nakadai) as he is recovering from an industrial accident that has destroyed his face. Wrapped from the neck up like a mummy with eye and mouth holes, he's actually in decent physical shape and is sitting around at home wondering what to do with his life while his understandably skittish and distant wife (Machiko Kyo) darts around the apartment.
Continue reading: The Face Of Another Review
A perfect example of the no-holds-barred well of creativity bubbling overseas is Seijun Suzuki's Pistol Opera. A sequel to the Japanese director's 1967 cult piece Branded to Kill, the film sets the stage for a wondrous tale of violence, betrayal, vengeance, and death. But while the film is gorgeous to behold, it winds up being strange without being interesting.
Continue reading: Pistol Opera Review