Road Rash Reviews

REVENGE [ADAUCHI] (Masters of Cinema) Blu-ray Review****-

Cert 15 | 104 mins | 1964

4 Star

Intense 18th Century Samurai’s

Japanese director Tadashi Imai (Mahiru no ankoku, Jun’ai monogatari) once again concentrates on the hardships in life. This time it is not so much the poor, but the struggles between Samurai hierarchy, with the difference between a noble house and one which is not so privileged, but just as proud. That is always a problem.

Our monochrome film starts with the construction of a bamboo arena, as the camera pans around. As well as all the hard-working peasants there is a sign which tells of a sanctioned vendetta to be settled by a duel between Tatsunosuke Okuno and Shinpachi Ezake (Kinnosuke Nakamura, Shogun’s Samurai, Bushidô zankoku monogatari), at noon on the 10th of July 1722.

But that is not where this story begins.

Magodayu is a Samurai of the noble family Okuno and while walking through the fort, he points out to his friend that you can tell peace when the spears have lost their sheen. Hearing this, newly promoted Shinpachi Ezake takes umbrage at this slight and speaks up, telling the other Samurai that all it will take is a quick polish and that Magodayu should show respect to a fellow Samurai. This causes Magodayu to nearly draw his weapon, but he is held back by his friend. Moment over.

Or not.

We read a letter sent to Shinpachi, that challenges him to an illegal duel down by the river. We get this information at the same time as Shinpachi’s older brother. As his brother screams to find him, we see him cleaning his sword, as a body lies in the reeds.

This leads the Okuno family down a dark path, as the two brothers don’t want to seem like cowards, Shume Okuno (Tetsurô Tanba, Harakiri, You Only Live Twice) wants a vendetta, but, his uncle points out that it was an illegal duel and the Sheriff would investigate this, and bring shame on the family name. With some clever thinking, they come up with a plan to bring to the Sheriff that brands Shinpachi a madman, and he is banished to a monastery.

Where he is to undergo Buddhist training to calm his sick mind. But Shume is a great swordsman, and he is out for blood, how will this affect Shinpachi knowing who Shume is and what he intends?

Revenge is an intense thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat all the way through. A true Samurai classic. With its dramatic ending, this is a must own for the martial arts fan in the household.

REVENGE [ADAUCHI] (Masters of Cinema) is available on Blu-ray



Limited Edition Slipcase (First print run of 2000 copies only) featuring artwork by Tony Stella | 1080p presentation on Blu-ray from a 2K restoration of the original film elements | Uncompressed original Japanese mono audio | Newly translated English subtitles (optional) | Brand-new interview with Tony Rayns | Brand new video piece by Jasper Sharp | PLUS: A collectors’ booklet featuring new writing on the film

*All extras subject to change

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DirectorTadashi Imai
GenreAction, Drama
StarringKinnosuke Nakamura, Tetsurô Tanba, Yoshiko Mita, Takahiro Tamura, Ai Sasaki
Available to buy on : Own REVENGE [ADAUCHI] (Masters of Cinema) on Blu-Ray