Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Incident at Blood Pass|
Actors: Toshir˘ Mifune, Yűjir˘ Ishihara, Ruriko Asaoka, Shintar˘ Katsu, Kinnosuke Nakamura
Director: Hiroshi Inagaki
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama
In his final portrayal of the Yojimbo character, Mifune Toshiro is hired to perform a mission so mysterious he isn't even told what it is.
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A gathering of clouds leads to a storm
Zack Davisson | Seattle, WA, USA | 05/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"High in the mountains, a remote inn is the setting for a gathering of double- and triple-crossing bad men, each with his own secret and agenda. Sprinkled though out these villains is a collection of innocents, unknowingly standing on the lid of an over-boiling kettle that will soon scream. A web of deceit and action, each player attempts to survive as best they can.
"Incident at Blood Pass" (Japanese title "Machibuse" or "Ambush") is a fun but not outstanding Samurai flick. The main draw is the star cast of Toshiro Mifune ("Yojimbo") and Shintaro Katsu ("Gentetsu"), who is best known for playing the blind fighter Zatoichi. The film is ably directed by Hiroshi Inagaki, known for his Musashi epic "Samurai I, II and III" and his adaptation of the 47 Ronin tale "Chushingura." While Inagaki has his moments, he is not on the same level as Kurosawa or even Masaki Kobayashi, and doesn't quite maximize the talents he has available. This was his final film.
Mifune again assumes the role made famous in the Kurosawa-directed "Yojimbo" and "Sanjuro," that of the nameless, a-moral Ronin who appears to be bad but always seems to fight for the weak. In this case, he has been hired for a mission that he does not even know, with his secret boss passing details onto him in the form of coded notes. Katsu, taking a different tact from his amiable hero Zatoichi, is a hard, dirty bandit, a former Doctor who lives in a barn and plans and plots for unseeable ends.
Inagaki doesn't bring out the performance from Mifune that Kurosawa did, and his Yojimbo lacks the dirty nobility of previous incarnations, with motivations remaining obscure. He tries to find the humanity behind each the icon, with a love interest in the form of a battered wife rescued in the film's opening scene. However, it is great to see Katsu as such a horrible human being, and to see his range as an actor.
Like Inagaki's other films, the pace is a slow build up to an explosive finish. The side characters, such as the flashy but poor gambler, the kindly innkeeper and his naive pretty daughter, the obsessed police officer and his tortured captive, all get ample time to annoy, entice and betray each other before the main plot is even revealed. The film plays out like a Samurai version of "The Petrified Forest," with the innkeeper, his daughter, the suitor and the gangster.
While not anywhere near the level of a masterpiece, "Incident at Blood Pass" is certainly an enjoyable flick and worth watching. Story and character driven, those seeking a high-action flick would do better to look elsewhere, as that is not Inagaki's trade mark."
This movie was a let down....
Nick Vaughan | Manhattan, KS USA | 01/15/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"When i read that this was Toshiro Mifune's final appearance as Yojimbo, or "The Bodyguard" I was extatic. I paid for it... waited and watched. sadly this movie has only 1, yes just 1 Mifune fight scene. And its at the very end.... i suggest buying the original Yojimbo, and if you already have, watching it again will be better than this. This movie isnt entirely awful, on the + side the story was good. All it needed was a few more Toshiro fight scenes. I recommend buying (if you can find it) Samurai Assassin, possibly the best story and action sequences of any Samurai movie."
Zack Davisson | 05/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I utterly enjoyed this movie. Granted it doesn't have many Toshiro Mifune fight scenes however the story and the way it turned out was very interesting. It's a combination of action, adventure, romance and comedy. I was not disappointed in any way."
Just Don't Expect Kurosawa's Yojimbo!
Ernest Jagger | Culver City, California | 01/05/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This 1970 released samurai film has two major draws. First and foremost, the famed actor (Toshiro Mifune) who portrayed the unknown ronin made famous by Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo and Sanjuro, reprises his role for the fourth and last time. Second, the film's other star, Shintaro Katsu, noted for his portrayal as the blind yakuza in the Zatoichi film, and who also starred with Toshiro Mifune in the Zatoichi episode #20: "Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo," both star in this film. However, don't expect to be blown out of the water by this film. It it an entertaining samurai film, but not a great one. Directed by Horoishi Inagaki, "Incident at Blood Pass," centers on double-crossing [and triple crossing] web's of deceit.
And although the film is not a great samurai flick, it does have some entertainment value. However, if you go into this film expecting a Kurosawa type of film, or an impressive Toshiro Mifune characterization of the legendary Yojimbo, then you will be disappointed. If however, you don't mind an average samurai film, then the film will not disappoint. The films setting takes place at a remote mountain top inn, deep in the mountains. It is here that events will transpire which will find both the innocent and guilty caught up in a backstabbing and double-dealing by the films antagonist(s).
Mifune is ordered to the mountain top to await futher orders. Here he observes the goings on, and notices things are not what they appear to be. He was hired on this mission at this remote mountain top, and ordered to await further instructions. However, he slowly becomes aware that there is double-dealing going on. The film has very little action in it, and this is mostly saved for the ending. And while I do recommend the film to all samurai lovers, the film was more of an average film. The second film to star Toshiro Mifune and Shintaro Katsu, that left me a little disappointed. I really wanted this film to be great. However, it is an interesting watch, and I do recommend watching the film."