Sunday, February 23, 2014

Zatoichi on the Road (1963)

Zatoichi :  Shintarô Katsu

Director : Kimiyoshi Yasuda

IMDb : 7.4

Grade :   B

The movie opens with Zatoichi being cheated in a dice game and then taking out his sword to teach a lesson to those who would cheat him.

Zatoichi is then brought by an acquaintance of his, Kisuke, to see a boss who wants to meet him.  A gangster then hires three ronin for a fight that is too take place in a few days. He also hires them to kill Zatoichi and his companion because he thinks Ichi will help another gang.  The three samurai kill Kisuke, but then Ichi kills them all.

Zatoichi then comes a cross a dying man who begs him to take a young maiden, Mitsu, to her family in Edo. But two rival gangs both want the girl for the ransom she can bring. Zatoichi decides he will guide her to Edo.

A gangster girl talks Mitsu in to coming with her, telling her bad things about Ichi but then some other gangsters grab her. Ichi then goes and gets Mitsu back from the gangsters.

There are other samurais on the road who are under orders to kill Mitsu. When they attack Ichi chops them down. Ichi decides to let Mitsu travel with a couple to Edo because they are attracting too much attention together.

The two gangs are now ready for their fight and one of them offers Ichi 30 pieces of silver to fight for them. The gangs come together and one of the gangs drags in Mitsu as bait for Ichi. The other gang then bids for Ichi. It looks like the scene from Yojimbo.

The fight begins and samurais falli rapidly before Ichi's sword. At the end Mitsu comes out the Ichi. But then the other gang comes out. Ichi send Mitsu on her way with a friend and then he finishes off the other gang.

The plot was kind of scattered and all over the place, but overall it was still pretty good.

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