Road Rash Reviews

SAMURAI WOLF I & II (Masters of Cinema) Special Edition Blu-ray Review****-

Cert 15 | 144 mins | 1966-67

4 Star

Death in Monochrome.

Eureka bring us two classic chambara productions from the late 1960s, from the genre’s master, writer/director Hideo Gosha (VIOLENT STREETS, Yakuza Ladies) who takes inspiration from the spaghetti western popular in the West at the time and puts his spin on the lone warrior fighting for the little people. In these two features, he makes great use of the new skills of Isao Natsuyagi (The Land of Hope, Emperor) in his big break into feature films as the lone Samurai Wolf. Expect close facial shots, treachery, femme fatales and sizzling sword fights, all in glorious 1080p monochrome.

Samurai Wolf:

A scruffy man (Isao Natsuyagi) wolfs down bowl after bowl of rice, only when his hunger is sated, does he inform the old lady that runs the Inn that he has no money. But seeing the state of the roof and the surroundings, he says that he is willing to work off his debt. The old lady is only too willing to have this fit young man around the house.

Since when do you have a son who knows how to do so many things?

He’s not my son. He’s my husband.

The Inn is just outside Arai relay administration, which sees transport of goods etc between Bushu and Koshu and Arai, is where men and horses are changed. But the relay’s problem is with Nizaemon (Tatsuo Endô, Audition, Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in Peril) the Shogun’s messenger, a man with plans of exploitation when he runs the relay. His men have been harrying the transports and stealing goods.

Whilst chopping wood, Wolf spots two couriers Chonachi and Toramatsu travel the road, when Nizaemon’s bandits strike this time they kill the two couriers. Wolf retrieves their bodies and takes them to the relay station, where the owner, the blind and beautiful Lady Chise (Junko Miyazono, Ohyaku: The Female Demon, Mini-Skirt Gambler) asks for Wolf’s help.

The scene is set for treachery, a feud, a prostitute looking for the man that changed her life, and Samurai doing what Samurai do.

Samurai Wolf II:

This time we see our Samurai Wolf, he is resting up in the attic of a threshing shed, when he hears a commotion, a girl, is being attacked by three Samurai. She runs to the shed where she tries to hide but the Samurai corner her. That is when Wolf makes his presence known. He shows them his skills, and they flee back to their Kazama school, where their leader vows vengeance on this man.

This Wolf… I’m going to kill him!

Later, we see Wolf sat by a gently flowing river, having some fruit. When Takada a guard escorting two prisoners with his men. One prisoner is a lowly thief, but the other is Magobei Kawazu a Samurai who was guarding the gold mine of the local Shogun, he allegedly killed another guard to get to the gold.

Wolf warns Takada that the water is foul due to the mines’ contamination, he offers the prisoners his own water.

They soon come across another guard who was transporting the femme fetal Oren: The Thistle (Yûko Kusunoki, Intentions of Murder, Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell). Who had seduced the magistrate of Nishida then killed him because her lover was injured, then she set fire to his house.

Suddenly they are attacked, and they clearly want Magobei dead, Wolf sees them off with his trusty sword, Takada offers Wolf a job to protect them until they reach their destination. He accepts.

When a gold mine is involved, there is always greed, and Wolf must protect the innocent and deal with those who are greedy.

More great fights with amazing choreography, as well as those pulled in close up shots of the action, as the black claret sprays everywhere.

Eureka hits the mark again with this release, another must own for the bulging martial arts collection from Eureka.

Never kill the innocent!

SAMURAI WOLF I & II (Masters of Cinema) Special Edition is available on Blu-ray



Limited edition O-Card slipcase featuring new artwork by Tony Stella | Presented in 1080p HD from restorations of the original film elements by Toei | Uncompressed original Japanese Mono audio | Optional English subtitles | Audio commentary on Samurai Wolf by film historian and writer Chris Poggiali | Outlaw Director – Hideo Gosha featurette with Tomoe Gosha | Reversible sleeve featuring original poster artwork | PLUS: A collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Japanese cinema expert Tom Mes |

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DirectorHideo Gosha
GenreAction, Adventure, Drama
StarringIsao Natsuyagi, Junko Miyazono, Ryôhei Uchida, Tatsuo Endô, Ichirô Nakatani
Available to buy on : Own SAMURAI WOLF I & II (Masters of Cinema) Special Edition Blu-ray on Blu-Ray