BBFC Classification: 15
Director: Teruo Ishii
Starring: Meiko Kaji, Hoki Tokuda, Makoto Satô, Hideo Sunazuka
Starring Meiko Kaji (Lady Snowblood) in her first major role, Blind Woman’s Curse (a.k.a. Black Cat’s Revenge or The Tattooed Swordswoman) is a bizarre mixture of Yakuza gangster, comedy, erotica, horror and Samurai revenge that never really fully embraces any of those styles. The plot initially focuses on a story of revenge when Yakuza gang leader Akemi (Kaji) slashes the eyes of her opponent during a fight. The blood from the wound is lapped up by a black cat and Akemi believes she is cursed by the cat. Five years later the members of Akemi’s gang are being murdered and having their dragon tattoos sliced off as a warning to Akemi, forcing the Yakuza boss to come face to face with her past.
But that is just the central plot as there is a lot more going on in Blind Woman’s Curse than in your average Yakuza revenge film. Characters are brought in and out, other sub-plots are introduced and by the time the final confrontation comes it is a little confusing as to who was doing what to whom and why, forcing the idea that the previous 80 minutes really had barely anything to do with the initial setup and the eventual outcome. However, this being co-written and directed by Teruo Ishii (Horror of a Deformed Man) means that, despite the overlycomplicated story, the film itself looks fantastic with some truly gorgeous imagery and a large amount of bloodshed during the multiple violent sword fights. So whilst Blind Woman’s Curse may not be the most cohesive samurai/Yakuza film ever made, it is quite a fun one… if you can follow what is going on.
Special Features: Audio commentary by author Jasper Sharp, theatrical trailer, Stray Cat Rock trailers, collector’s booklet, reversible cover featuring original and newly commissioned artwork.
UK Release Date: 31st March 2014