Action / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 90%
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 1523


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 08, 2021 at 11:24 PM


720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.05 GB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 56 min
P/S 1 / 21
1.94 GB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 56 min
P/S 3 / 25

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by alucinecinefago 7 / 10

Zatoichi is back

The following review is an extract from the book "Shintaro Katsu´s Zatoichi: Complete guide to all movies", which is now available on Amazon. Highly recommended for all Zatoichi fans!

"After "Zatoichi in desperation", Shintaro Katsu got "behind and in front" of the cameras again at the same time for this last film in the saga about the adventures of the swordsman and blind masseur. Katsu directs and stars in this 1989 "Zatoichi", as well as having written the script, and financed it as a co-producer. His son Ryutaro Gan impersonates the young oyabun Goemon.

Apart from seeing a very mature Ichi, around sixty years old and in the twilight of his days, the plot brings practically nothing new to what has already been seen in the 25 previous films. The same schemes are repeated, old details and stories are recycled, we see the same strategy of Ichi in the dice game, and the blind masseur continues to fully retain his faculties with the sword. In this, years have not passed for him.


The film lasts two hours, much longer than the most of the other movies (Only "Zatoichi meets Yojimbo" has that extension as well).

Although this last film may disappoint some, one thing is for sure: Zatoichi is Shintaro Katsu and Shintaro Katsu is Zatoichi. Later attempts to bring the blind hero back to the big screen with other actors may be respectable (as is the case with Takeshi Kitano's "Zatoichi" in 2003), but they don't reach the quality of Katsu's 60's and 70's Zatoichi films (directed by Kenji Misumi, Kimiyoshi Yasuda or Kazuo Ikehiro among others).

Good soundtrack with ambient touches by Takayuki Watanabe, except for one song in English, which is quite out of place in that context.

There was a tragic accident during the shooting of this film: Actor Ryutaro Gan (son of Shintaro Katsu), who plays Goemon, killed an extra with a katana while filming a combat scene."

Reviewed by jofus224 7 / 10

Poor Ending to a Great Series

I became familiar with the character Zatoichi on IFC's Samurai Saturdays a couple of years ago. When the movies suddenly disappeared from their rotation, it prompted me to sign up for Netflix and see them all, in order.

First the character. Zatoichi is a blind "anma" or masseur (common occupation for the blind in that era) that travels the countryside, never stopping for long in one place. Behind this unassuming appearance is a master swordsman, which combined with super human hearing makes him virtually unstoppable (very few throughout the series get the better of him). While technically a "yakuza" (defined sometimes as gangster, sometimes as gambler), Zatoichi is Japan's Lone Ranger, Zorro, Batman or Robin Hood. Considered an outlaw by authorities (often vile characters themselves), he lives by a simple moral code and is generally a folk hero amongst the Edo-period villagers he encounters in his travels.

The bulk of the movies (there are 26) follow a pretty basic formula. Zatoichi comes to town, meets and mutually respects a Ronin or Samurai, befriends a sweet young thing or a hooker (with a heart of gold), becomes aware of depredations by the local yakuza boss or government official, gambles, displays his amazing swordsmanship (usually to discourage the boss or official), and is finally pushed too far by boss or official resulting in the wiping out of their underlings and themselves, unhappily fighting aforementioned Samurai or Ronin, and finally leaving the woman crying his name as he wanders off unseen.

The formula works well through the first 20 or so movies, then starts getting repetitious as they reuse gags. This happens around the time that TOHO takes over from the defunct DAIEI as the production company. While the production values of these later movies are generally higher, it's offset by more graphic violence and sexual situations. The star of the movies, Shintaro Katsu, co-produced movies 16 through 26 as well as directing numbers 24 and 26. Which brings us to number 26, Zatoichi (1989).

There was a gap of 16 years between the last 2 movies and it shows. The character, as is expected, has aged considerably in this period. He's heavier (aren't we all?) and has more grey in his hair. He is still, however, the potent weapon we've come to love over the series. But sadly, it's not, pun intended, executed well.

The formula is broadly followed but is muddled with a plodding storyline and too many characters. Perhaps the subtitles aren't giving the proper translations, but characters come and go and their relation to the story and interplay with other characters aren't made clear. A good 20 minutes could be shaved off of this film and would only result in a tightening of the plot. Which is a damn shame, since this his last appearance as Zatoichi and you want to savor every last minute of this film. But sadly I didn't.

See the movie for closure. If you're like me you'll be left wanting more (which is how it should be) and wishing for a more fitting end to a franchise that spanned 27 years and lots of great movie moments.

Now don't even get me started on Takeshi Kitano's Zatoichi (2003)...

Reviewed by chrisdfilm 10 / 10

Excellent; Shintaro Katsu's masterpiece! Surpasses last Kurosawa samurai films.

The best of the Zatoichi series, with Shintaro Katsu appearing very spry for someone who was almost sixty at the time. If you watch expecting non-stop swordfight pyrotechnics, you're going to be disappointed -- although there are several spectacularly choreographed swordfights, especially the massacre at the climax as well as some surprisingly bloody gore (it should be remembered Katsu produced the Lone Wolf and Cub movies starring his real-life brother, Tomisaburo Wakayama). This is very much a saga type picture, with blind masseur Ichi approaching elderly status but still wandering the backroads of 1860's Japan, gambling and being pursued by bounty hunting yakuza and lone wolf killers. One of the rewarding things about the film is that Katsu encounters old friends like beachcomber Norihei Miki. He also befriends a destitute artist samurai (Ken Ogata) who is conflicted by the bounty on Ichi's head but dismayed because fatalistic, wisecracking, warmhearted Ichi is the only person he can relate to! There are many other great character actors here such as pockmarked Yuya Uchida as one of the craven yakuza bosses. Katsu's real-life son, Takanori Jinnai appears as the scarfaced young upstart rival boss out to take control of the whole territory. A beautiful film that is very poetic and poignant as well as being exciting. Very evocative of the period, unlike many other samurai films made since the mid-80s, and, in my opinion, far superior to Akira Kurosawa's final samurai pictures, KAGEMUSHA and RAN. Contrary to one of the other reviews here, this is anything but a mishmash of elements from earlier entries.

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