Zatoichi's Vengeance

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Overview

Yet another entry in the remarkably successful Zatoichi film series starring Shintaro Katsu as a blind swordsman, Zatoichi's Vengeance arrives on DVD with a widescreen transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The Japanese soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. Newly translated English subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include the original trailer. This film has never looked better on home video, making this Home Vision release worthwhile for any fan of the ...
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Overview

Yet another entry in the remarkably successful Zatoichi film series starring Shintaro Katsu as a blind swordsman, Zatoichi's Vengeance arrives on DVD with a widescreen transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The Japanese soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. Newly translated English subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include the original trailer. This film has never looked better on home video, making this Home Vision release worthwhile for any fan of the series.
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Special Features

Digitally mastered from newly created film elements; Presented in original widescreen aspect ratio; Enhanced for 16x9 televisions; Newly translated electronic subtitles; Subtitled theatrical trailers
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/18/2004
  • UPC: 037429193228
  • Original Release: 1966
  • Rating:

  • Source: Homevision
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Cinemascope (2.35:1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Time: 1:23:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Shintaro Katsu Zatoichi
Shigeru Amachi
Mayumi Ogawa
Kei Sato
Jun Hamamura
Technical Credits
Tokuzo Tanaka Director
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Credits [5:18]
2. Biwa Playing Priest [6:47]
3. Gonzo the Extortionist [5:35]
4. Thunder Drums [3:50]
5. A Kind-Hearted Woman [6:50]
6. A Choosy Inn [4:16]
7. A Voice in the Night [4:30]
8. Asking for Mercy [4:03]
9. No Deal [4:08]
10. A Samurai's Wife [6:29]
11. Sword for Hire [5:07]
12. A Simple Plan [3:06]
13. Zatoichi's Ultimatum [4:23]
14. A Worthy Opponent [6:51]
15. Justice [7:31]
16. Payback [3:31]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Chapters
   Trailers
      12: Zatoichi and the Chess Expert
      13: Zatoichi's Vengeance
      14: Zatoichi's Cane Sword
      HVE: The Blind Swordsman Series
   Subtitles
      Subtitles: On
      Subtitles: Off
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the Best of the Series, as Far as Unique Elements

    Like the other movies in the Zatoichi series, this story features strong female characters, exciting and well-staged swordplay, tasteful violence (no blood and gore), and our hero only killing when absolutely forced to. While there is nothing new to the basic theme of this movie - Ichi saving townspeople and merchants from a band of evil men - there are many unique and surprising elements to this story which set it apart from the others. First, the ingenuity of Ichi's adversaries in using drums to hinder his hearing is somewhat surprising. Normally, his opponents are not quite that clever. Also, the level of swordsmanship (skill and technique) is significantly raised to a much more intricate level when Ichi fights the samurai. This is a noticeable difference from the simplicity he usually employs against more the common/obscure swordsman he generally faces. Another unexpected surprise is the amount of abuse Ichi is willing to take before acting to defend himself. He is bloodied and bruised when severely beaten yet, he does not act, seemingly because he does not want to have to kill in front of a child, or risk provoking the evildoers into more extreme action against those he is trying to protect. The addition of Ichi slipping and falling on the stairs at the end of the movie really showcases his vulnerability, reminding us that even heroes stumble. One of the female characters, the wife of the innkeeper, demonstrates even more strength than the women in other films of this series: Though they beat and threaten her, she is able to stand up to her harassers. Many other characters are given a great deal of depth, which allows us to have a better understanding of their motives, adding dimension and accentuating their flaws to make them interesting. For example, the scorn shown by the child (whose previous admiration and emulation bordered on reverence) when Ichi allows himself to be punched, kicked, and humiliated instead of killing his tormentors as he easily could. Another example is the prostitute's judgment of her love in calling him a drunk and her subsequent lapse into drunkenness after his death. The silhouette scene, which includes fighting and drumming against a dusky sky, is tremendously beautiful. As in other Ichi films, extremely creative and surprising swordplay is featured such as the tip of a lit candle balanced perfectly on the end of a sword to illuminate the faces of the "animal" bullies, slicing a hilt from its blade while the sword is still in the scabbard at his opponent's waist, taking out several bad guys while protecting the child in his arms, and deftly cutting the bonds of the innkeeper's wife without causing her injury. Finally, the sadness in our hero's face at the number of people he is forced to kill in this movie is extremely exquisite and touching, and seems to be more intense than similar emotions he expresses in other adventures. We feel Ichi's pain very deeply from what he is forced to do at this stage in his journey, particularly when he kills the samurai. Though there is sadness in this story, it is one of the most interesting, surprising, and beautifully filmed movies of the Zatoichi series. --J.H. Sweet, author of The Fairy Chronicles, and Zatoichi fan.

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