|BLIND WOMAN'S CURSE (KAIDAN NOBORI RYU) (director/writer: Teruo Ishii; screenwriter: Yoshitada Sone; cinematographer: Shigeru Kitaizumi ; editor: Osamu Inoue; music: Hajime Kaburagi; cast: Meiko Kaji (Akemi Tachibana), Hoki Tokuda (Aiko Gouda), Bumon Kahara (Gouda), Yôko Takagi (Chie),Makoto Satô (Tani Shouichi), Tatsumi Hijikata (Ushimatsu, Hunchback dance); Runtime: 85; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Hideo Koi; ; 1970-Japan-in Japanese with English subtitles)|
|"It strangely makes for a
by Dennis Schwartz
directed and written by the late eccentric Japanese
filmmaker Teruo Ishii ("Attack From
Space"/"Flesh Pier"/"Yellow Line"). A rare horror pic
an early role for Meiko Kaji, who plays Akemi
Tachibana, the beautiful young leader of a
opening credits, there's a bloody slo-mo samurai fight
between rivals. Akemi accidentally slashes across the
eyes the innocent sister of the rival leader, Aiko
Gouda (Hoki Tokuda), and leaves her
blind. Meanwhile a black cat emerges unnoticed to lick
serves a three-year jail sentence for the crime. Upon
her release, Akemi assumes leadership of her deceased
father's gang. Her rivals are the Dobashi
gang led by Toru Abe, who frame her for drug
trafficking. To her aid comes a handsome mercenary
justice- seeking drifter, Tani
Shouichi (Makoto Satô).
He falls in love with the feisty daughter of a
restaurant owner, Chie (Yôko Takagi).
Things take a bleak turn when the mutilated bodies
of Akemi's girlfriends start showing up. It turns
out that a mysterious blind woman swordsman has
joined the Dobashi gang. The swordsman maniac turns
out to be the insane hunchback Ushimatsu
(Tatsumi Hijikata). Meanwhile
there's the black cat who stalks Akemi, all
geared-up for revenge.
The oddball pop-surrealist film wavers from incomprehensibility in bouts of horror, goofy comedy, soft-core porn and a samurai and yakuza adventure tale. Though too nonsensical and hallucinatory in narrative to follow with too many sober-minded observations, it strangely makes for a compelling watch. In how many other films will you see weird, like in the scene of a panting hunchback hopping around while a woman simulates copulation with a dog wrapped in the Japanese flag!
who went on from here to become a cult superstar,
sings the film's theme song.
REVIEWED ON 1/16/2016 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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