Sequel to LADY SNOWBLOOD tones down the bloodshed
Brian Camp | Bronx, NY | 10/19/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"LOVE SONG OF VENGEANCE (1974) is a sequel to the Japanese swordplay drama, LADY SNOWBLOOD (1973), and picks up the adventures of female avenger Shurayuki Hime in 1907, more than ten years after the events in the first film. Fans of the first film may be disappointed by the toned-down bloodletting and the shift in the story's emphasis from Lady Snowblood, or Yuki, to the struggles of a band of rebels protesting government oppression in the aftermath of Japan's victory in the Russo-Japanese War of 1905. There is considerable action at the beginning and end, but there are long stretches that focus primarily on an anarchist (Juzo Itami), with an ailing wife, who has in his possession a letter from a murdered rebel that the Secret Police would like to get their hands on. Early on, Yuki (played by Meiko Kaji) is saved from execution by the Secret Police and ordered to find the letter, thus taking her away from the vengeance mission of the first film and throwing her smack in the middle of political and social tensions of the era. A spectacular climax involves a fire in a lawless Tokyo slum district.Fans of Japanese cinema should give this a chance, mainly because it stands up on its own as a stirring drama about political struggles in Japan in the early 20th century, an era we don't often see recreated on film. It's very well-photographed and acted, with some evocative sets and some very unusual costumes. While she doesn't actually have enough to do to please her fans, Meiko Kaji (also in FEMALE CONVICT SCORPION) remains impressive as always."
Really Liked it!
asugar2 | Seattle USA | 04/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I really liked this movie. Shows us some history of the aftermath of Japan's victory in the Russo-Japanese War of 1905. (How many of us even knew about the Russo-Japanese War of 1905? Where the British/German trained but inexperienced Japanese fleet utterly defeated & annihilated the Russian Fleet at Tsushima Strait under the leadership of Admiral Heihachiro Togo(Wish they would hurry up & relaese that movie).
Not as much Bloodletting Action as the first Lady Snowblood (So just how many sequels Are better than the first, I ask you? Besides LOTR.) but still a great movie, none the less."
Passable, but not as strong as the original
therosen | New York, NY United States | 05/09/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The original Lady Snowblood was a slightly campy tale of violence and vengeance. Perhaps it wasn't intended to be so funny, but that's what happens when you go so far over the top. This sequel toned down the violence and invincibility of Yuki Snowblood, and added some morality with the backdrop of a fight between Japan's anarchists and emerging capitalists.
Unfortunately, the added morality does not do much for the movie. Taking a level off the violence leaves us with a mediocre action movie, and the end product is not worthy of the cult classic status granted the original."