View Full Version : Sword of Doom
11-27-2002, 03:39 PM
Underrated samurai piece as well as a psychological drama on the mind and soul of a calm renegade samurai, Sword of Doom on many levels succeeds in its acting, action sequences, psychological mood, and direction. Came three years before The Wild Bunch and the same time as Django by becoming one of the first that I can think of with a high body count in an action film, especially during the climax moment. An excellent samurai film as well as a terrifying portrait of a bushi warrior whose on the brink of madness, which crosses over into that territory with frightening conviction. Has to be one of Tatsuya Nakadai's finest performances on film as he shows some depth and complexity in the role of the main character. Also noted, is the wonderful cameo of Toshiro Mifune who plays a wise fencing teacher, and just as tough samurai swordsman. It contains elements that in a way reminds me of Henry:Portrait of a Serial Killer, and is what I call a samurai serial killer film because Ryunosuke is one who at times kills at random, and is a very scary person with his cold demeanor. Its high body count ending I suspect would influence Peckinpah and Woo as well as the Lone Wolf and Cub films and comics. The main premise of the film is about a samurai swordsman who is unable to live outside of his sword. The film has an open ending with what I think is Ryunosuke killing and killing until someone is able to stop him. He's also someone haunted by his violent ways and this shows when he begins to lose his mind at the start of the violent climatic moment. A terrific film that deserves a DVD release and hopefully will get it someday.
11-27-2002, 03:56 PM
It's allready on DVD in UK.
11-27-2002, 03:57 PM
Do you know if it's uncut?
11-27-2002, 05:24 PM
According to BBFC it is uncut.
02-12-2003, 05:27 PM
Mifune plays his character with restraint, which is uncharacteristic considering the wild animalistic characters he plays in Rashomon and Seven Samurai. Its also typical of his development as an actor as he would do many of these types of roles in the 1960s.
02-14-2003, 11:44 AM
Can anyone comment on the picture quality of the UK DVD?
03-01-2003, 05:49 PM
Picture quality on the UK DVD isn't too hot - a shame because the film itself is very good.
03-01-2003, 07:20 PM
More to add on the final scene, what I like about it is the fact that it is a nightmarish dreamish moment, in which reality seems to cease to exist. Its at that moment that the film takes on a horror aspect. One of my favorite fight scenes in a samurai film that still is quite powerful and exciting to watch.
09-06-2003, 01:19 PM
Any opinions on the film itself?
09-07-2003, 01:00 PM
That's a tight film. Kihachi Okamoto has his shiznit on. I have a few of his films Samurai Assassin (1965), Sword of Doom (1966), Kiru (1968), Zatoichi Vs. Yojimbo (1970) and they all ruin me. I don't know if Sword Of Doom is underrated, unless underrated means everything w/o Kurosawa's name on it. The video release of Sword Of Doom seems to have made it into a lot of small town video stores.
Kenji Misumi did up this same story as a three parter called Sword Of Satan (1959, 1960, 1961) with Raizô Ichikawa playing the role of Ryunosuke Tsukue instead of Tatsuya Nakadai. I have the first two parts and it's fine early Misumi. The third part is now available through Samurai Video, but if I have to pay $40 + postage for a disc that has a 50/50 chance of being defective ... I can wait. I've been burned by that moron before and Sword Of Doom already hipped me to how this story ends.
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