Friday, February 09, 2007

Lady Snowblood

…is almost as unwatchable as Sex and Fury and A Female Yakuza Tale. I’ve never been able to cipher Japanese perversion, but as a general rule, blood splattered Japanese hotties hacking their way through a film makes this samurai’s katana limp. Lady Snowblood is a precursor to Kill Bill – a revenge tale with a list of targets and a woman to get the job done. That’s not a selling point for me for either picture, but it might be for some folks.I tried to get a screenshot of Ms. Snowblood chopping a character in half, but it was too blurry to capture. You can get an idea of the bloodiness, though, in the frames below.Geysers of blood tended to drench the samurai pictures of the 70s, which is one small reason that they are inferior to the masterpieces of the 50s and 60sDid I mention that there was a lot of blood in the Lady Snowblood films?Well, there is! Which, as mentioned before, detracts from the honey that wields the deadly sword. If Broadway did an adaptation, the audience would have to bring their Gallagher tarps.


odienator said...

That image of blood looks like something from Batman. It should say SPLAT!!! like those flying words that came out when Adam West or Burt Ward hit somebody. Or maybe in your case, it should say BARF!

My samurai movie can out-bloody yours for sure. Stay tooned for that!

Charlie Parsley said...

Sex and violence, forever and mysteriously intertwined.

As in most forms of art, hitting the extremes brings forth extreme and nuanced experiences most of us would likely not encounter in reality. While I am generally understanding and appreciative of such expressions in arts and literatures, I will have to agree that with Violence, my personal sensibilities are limited. I can understand but don't find appreciation for 'slasher' flicks.

However there must be more that we can learn from Lady Snowblood. Why was it that the director chose this script? What was going on in the native country at that time? Surely there is more to it that simple trendiness in exploitation films.

Excellent descriptions and stunning screenshots Jeffrey. I am glad to have your thoughts to consider as I have some samurai flicks of my own on schedule at my home cinema.

And warm regards to you odie! I think the image of blood that you refer to, with the word and exclamations SPLAT!!! would be most lovely as a painting for any of the many adventurous art galleries of New York.

jeffrey said...

Surely there is more to it that simple trendiness in exploitation films.

You're assuming an awful lot, Charlie! I'm sure you could come up with some interesting points of context as to why the director, Toshiya Fujita, decided to do it (I looked at his filmology and they appeared to be early in his directing career) - but ultimately you have to conclude that it was a result of exploiting the trend. Hyper-violent sexually absorbed samurai series were simply popular in the 70s. The story came from a manga series by Kazuo Koike, who also created Lone Wolf and Cub which was also adapted to film around the same time. I'm not fimilar with the manga end, but it is interest, if not to my taste, to see the samurai genre unfold into absurdity like it did. I think your questions "why" are most interesting when applied to the trend, itself. In other words, even if there is no more to Lady Snowblood than simple trendiness & exploitation - that is still enough to make it worthy of study - especially now that it serves as a type of time capsule.