Zatoichi Collection (Box Set)

24/05/2004
  |  Buy to Own: 24/05/2004
  |  284 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC

Synopsis

A triple bill of samurai action starring Shintarô Katsu as legendary blind swordsman Zatoichi. In 'Zatoichi the Outlaw' (1967), Zatoichi (Katsu) becomes embroiled in gang warfare when he arrives in the peasant village of Kiyotaki. While the local gang boss encourages the locals to gamble their way into poverty and starvation, his rival Asagoro (Rentaro Mikuni) champions the peasants, paying their debts personally and ensuring that they have enough to eat. Zatoichi takes Asagoro's side in the conflict, and offers his deadly services in support of the cause, but is the situation as clear-cut as it seems? Zatoichi is on his travels again in 'Zatoichi at the Fire Festival' (1970). When he witnesses an auction where women are sold to the highest bidder, Zatoichi rescues a beautiful woman from her fate - but in doing so, he incurs the wrath of her sex-starved buyer (Tatsuya Nakadai). He also comes up against the Yakuza Boss of all Bosses, Yamikubo (Masayuki Mori) - aka 'the Prince of Darkness' - who turns out, like Zatoichi himself, to be blind. Yamikubo tries everything he can to get rid of Zatoichi, who stands in the way of his corrupt and extremely lucrative tax-collecting schemes. When assassins fail to kill Zatoichi, Yamikubo lays a complex and powerful trap with a beautiful young woman (Reiko Ohara) at its centre. In 'Zatoichi in Desperation' (1972), Zatoichi sets out to track down the daughter of an elderly woman whose death he unintentionally caused while negotiating a treacherous rope bridge. When he finds out that the daughter, Nishigiki (Kiwaiko Taichi), is a prostitute, Zatoichi vows to save her from her career, and sets out to earn some money to help her. Unfortunately he becomes embroiled in some shady business with a yakuza gang, leading to plenty of expert swordplay - and an alarmingly high body count.