Saturday, February 22, 2014

Zatoichi : The Fugitive (1963)

Zatoichi :  Shintarô Katsu

Director : Takuzo Tanaka

IMDb : 7.4

Grade :   A-


Ichi enter a village that is having a festival. He enters in to a wresting competition for the prize money and defeats some yakuza gang members and they are not happy being beaten by a blind man. 

A man attacks him and Zatoichi kills him. The man tells him before he dies that he was offered 10 ryo for his head. When the  local yakuza boss Yagiri finds out what happened, he ups the  offer to 20 ryo for his Ichi's head.

Zatoichi goes to an inn and meets his former love Tane who is living with a ronin, Tanakura, employed by another gang. Tanakura goes in to a festival meeting and demands all the money that was raised by the yakuza. No one will fight him but then Ichi enters. He kneels down and talks to the bosses while Tanakura watches. 

Tanakura then slices a bottle in half to show his skill. Ichi then flips a dice in to one of the bosses bottles and then slices the bottle in half while it is being held. He then walks out but the price on his head goes up,

Ichi talks to Tane, who he thought had married a carpenter.  She tells him she has gone from one man to another and is now with Tanakura. Tane is very upset over what she has become. 

Tanakura kills three of the local yakuza gang. His boss wants to move in. Tanakura and Ichi cross swords and Ichi is wounded, but their final battle will come later. 

The bosses put pressure on a younger boss to kill Ichi, or be removed as a boss. It seems everyone is after Ichi. 

All of the yakuza come together and we have Zatoichi and Tanakura. Tanakura kills Tane who is trying to stop him from fighting. Then Zatoichi takes it out on the yakuzi. Zatoichi takes out about thirty men. 

Then the final show down with Ichi seeking revenge for Tane.  Tanakura slices through Ichi's sword but Ichi still manages to kill him. As he dies Tanakurs tells Ichi that it was Tane that set the trap for him.

Ichi once again heads down the road. 

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