Time Out says

Conceived as a lacerating attack on the Japanese film industry's typical 'heroic' samurai movies, this Japanese independent adapts an 18th century kabuki play to remarkably provocative effect. The plot, as schematic and stylised as a Jacobean tragedy, deals with a would-be samurai's descent into a hell of his own making as he seeks revenge on a couple who trick him. Matsumoto couldn't have realised the psychological passions or the violence with more terrifying force, but his aim is exorcism, not indulgence: the reflective, ultra-formal shooting style, and strategies like the use of captions as 'chapter headings', force the audience to read the film as a complex web of metaphors. The integrity and aesthetic daring of the result are doubtless what caused the British censor to ban it.

By: TR


Release details

134 mins

Cast and crew

Toshio Matsumoto
Shuji Ishizawa, Toshio Matsumoto
Katsuo Nakamura
Yasuko Sanjo
Juro Kira
Masao Imafuku
Tamotsu Tamura
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