Major roots of "Kill Bill" here...a beautiful avenging angel, terrific use of music and nature shots, and an outrageous visual poetry of bloodshed...one feels sorry for Yuko in her one-dimensional quest for vengeance, especially in the scene where she sees a group of children playing joyfully, and at the end... beautifully shot, but ultimately vapid...
A film that shows that it can be best to have nothing to say at all. Many revenge films have a schmaltzy circle-of-revenge sentiment, this just tells an engaging story, with plenty of proto-Tarantino style. Where the Kill Bill films were inspired by this first film, Lady Snowblood compacts the same story into a 2 1/2 hour shorter runtime. It's straight-forward and effective in its fast, minimalistic pace.
Snowblood moves with the cruel efficiency of someone birthed for death, taking names but rarely taking pleasure. Of course it's the opposite for us because Fujita's world is so rooted in joy; colourful and lavishly designed sets, novel and badass editing techniques. But how unsatisfying the task, esp. when she/we're denied the catharsis of 'noble' vengeance until the more bonkers third-act.
Ultimately I wouldn't say it evokes a whole lot in the way of meaning. It is a stylish thriller that wraps with every single character a victim of the cycle of revenge, but it's not REALLY about that and it doesn't try to insult us by paying thematic lip service to revenge's consequences, though it delivers more than Kill Bill in that regard. Also displays a nice sense of visual poeticism.
Blood-sprayed, blood-sprayed, blood-sprayed, blood-sprayed, and blood-sprayed. Are the main reason I enjoyed this movie so much. The plot is a little bit muddled. Now I can see why this movie inspired Quentin Tarantino for his "Kill Bill". One of the entertaining piece from Japanese cinema...
Doesn't work as an exploitation, but it's a helluva movie. It has that garish Toho color chiaroscuro, a fairly clever editing logic, and an adept Meiko Kaji, embodying needed pain and menace behind a thick layer of animus. The constant dialogue exposition conflicts with every realized scene.
If you are a fan of QT this is essential viewing material. I had long heard this film influenced Kill Bill, but was surprised to see how much it inspired the way he makes films period. Chapter breaks, the score, the use of music in general, projectile blood, and countless other Tarantino staples are on full display here.