Lady Snowblood is another awesomely gory Japanese cult classic from the 70’s.
It’s about a woman who is out for revenge, simple and clear but on a whole new level. Born in a prison, Yuki is introduced as a child born for vengeance after the events before her birth.
Her Mother quite literally screwed every single man she could while in prison in order to conceive her, so Yuki’s entire birth and conception came with purpose. The revenge is for the murder of her older half brother and his father some years earlier when 4 corrupt men were conning the villagers around them out of money, killing anyone dressed in white. This was followed by a savage rape of her mother.
With Yuki’s mother being outraged she killed one of the men responsible and was sent to prison for her crimes. This is where she decided that another life must take her revenge for her. So she gives birth to Yuki, and loses her own life in the process.
Yuki is then trained to kill throughout her entire childhood and becomes a lethal weapon before turning 20 – when she must venture out into the world and exact her revenge.
A Very Dark Movie
The entire feeling behind Yuki’s birth, childhood and even her demeanour in adulthood feels pretty evil – despite the fact she does not hurt anyone innocent.
The movie is filled with lots of anger, and every flashback of Yuki and her mother’s life is such a horrible story told with that angry, dark and evil sense about it. The world portrayed in Lady Snowblood is pretty dark.
Every step of the way, even when Yuki makes her first kill – you sense her dedication. She meets her first “victim’s” daughter, who is quite an honest girl trying her best to support her father, who seems very poor and under privileged (you get that when you murder people).
But when Yuki first saves this man’s life from being taken by another, she takes him to the beach and he begs for his life. It’s a pretty pathetic sight but the man beg’s right up until Yuki cuts him down, and he dies a pretty pathetic death – not even fighting for his life.
Yuki is definitely unaffected, and this really convinces you that she is filled with hatred, and sets up her character quite well. Naturally, the daughter of her first victim works hard at her own quest for revenge, which adds something else to the story.
I felt the cons of this film action-wise was the clumsy nature of some of the fights scenes. Sometimes Yuki barely seems to move yet pulls out an outstanding kill – and I’m not entirely sold. But this is almost instantly overlooked by the blood and gore!
This movie has a style very similar to the Lone Wolf and Cub series (there’s some familiar names between the two). Each attack leaves the squirting of blood, and as Yuki fights on she becomes more and more drenched.
You’ll see bodies chopped in half, blood spraying everywhere and one scene in particular – a man’s hands getting chopped off, which caught me completely by surprise.
The effects are crude, but pretty bloody entertaining – and there isn’t really that sense of realism as the blood is such a bright red it makes it almost like a cartoon.
Not a bad movie, top story of a character driven and born for revenge with a really dark tone to the whole story. Good enough action and plenty of blood for the fans of gore in martial arts movies. I enjoyed it but I’m sitting on the fence when it comes to recommending it as what makes this movie – the dark tone and the gore can also be what kills it. So this one is up to you!
On Blu Ray –
Region B (UK, Australia, New Zealand, Europe etc)
Lady Snowblood / Lady Snowblood 2 on Blu-ray
On DVD –
Region 1 (US & Canada)
Lady Snowblood 1&2 on DVD
Region 2 (UK, Europe, etc)
Lady Snowblood 1 & 2 on DVD
Region 4 (Australia, New Zealand, etc)
Lady Snowblood on DVD
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