Saturday, May 31, 2014

Zatoichi and the Doomed Man (1965)

Zatoichi :  Shintarô Katsu

Director Kazuro Mori 

IMDb : 7.2

Grade :   A-

The movie opens with Zatoichi beating beaten for gambling. We then see a flashback to the night before were a condemned man, Shimazu, asks him to get in touch with some friends of his. He says that his friends will be able to prove that he is innocent of the crimes, which include murder, that he is charged with. 

After he is beat Zatoichi takes part in a contest where he shoots a moving target with a bow and arrow. Zatoichi wins 50 ryo. He is then accosted by a gang of men who try to rob him, but he strikes some down and the others runs off now knowing who he is.

Zatoichi then heads off down the road with a man named Hyakutaro who wants to be a partner with Zatoichi in his gambling. Zatoich didn't want to get involved with Shimazu, but he feels he has to do it so off he goes to find his friends.

Zatoichi finds one of Shimazu's friends, who is a yakuza boss, and says that Shimazu could never have committed those crimes. Zatoichi rescues a girl, Yone who is being held as a gambling debt, who tells him that the Boss is no good and a liar.

Zatoichi then hears some guys talking about him. They say he is working for a yakuza boss and demanding sake and women but wouldn't do any work. "When it came time for action he disappeared." Hyakutaro is pretending to be Zatoichi.

When Zatoichi catches up to Hyakutaro, he apologizes. Ten men then come to kill Ichi, and Ichi cuts them all down. Zatoichi then finds out that Hyakutaro is Shimazu's son.

We then find out that Shimazu is still going to be executed. It seems that Boss Jubei Araiso is the one who set up Shimazu. Shimazu had been his second in command, but he was getting too popular and Jubei wanted him out of the way. he also tells his ronin that a trouble make named Ichi is on the way and they need to kill him.

There is a roninn named Senpachi who works for Jubei. Boss Jubei tells Senpachi that Shimazi's wife and daughter will be the perfect bait for Zatoichi, as Shimazi is brought through the area the next day.

Zatoichi meets the wife and daughter and promises them that Simazu will be coming home safely the next day. Zatoichi then slashes down the ronin Jubei sent to kill him and then has Senpachi bring him to Boss Jubei.

Zatoichi wants Boss Jubei to write down how Shimazu was set up. When Senpachi makes his move, Zatoichi slashes him down. Jubei then writes the statement.

Jubei then tells his men that they can't let Zatoichi escape, and about 25 men attack him. They have a whole dug, they use nets and ropes, but they can't stop Zatoichi from slashing them down as he use two swords.

Then for good measure he sends a sword flying off that kills a watching Boss Jube. He tells Yone to bring the statement to the local intendant, so Shimazu can go free. He also tells Yoni that he will wait for her, but you know that isn't going to happen.

Another good entry in the series. The plot was a little cloudy, as Ichi just stumbled in to the murky plots of the scheming yakuza looking to gain more power in their world. A little different in that there wasn't a powerful ronin lurking in the background for Zatoichi to duel with or a love interest for Zatoichi.

One thing that was really noticeable in this movie was that Zatoichi's fame is really growing in the world of the yakuza. 

No comments:

Post a Comment