Lady Snowblood

Year: 1973
Director: Toshiya Fujita
Yet another con in the current orgy of DVD marketing in Australia (and presumably the world), where any connection will do to slap on the cover to sell a movie ('Steven Spielberg's inspiration for the scene where the guy falls over in his first movie that nobody ever saw!')

Of course, the director most often invoked to sell something to ravenous fanboys is QT, and fair enough, a large part of Kill Bill was obviously inspired by the premise of this film (lone female assassin tracks down four iconic killers to exact revenge).

But Tarantino is more like George Lucas than he is the Shaw brothers, Toho or the Blaxploitation period than most people realise, and for this reason; audiences these days demand a certain pacing from movies. Occasional bursts of ridiculous violence interspersed with elongated, wistful, mannequin-like stares don't work nowadays if they comprise the entire movie, and that's all Lady Snowblood seems to be about.

Tracking down the four swindlers who murdered most of her family and raped and left her mother for dead, she was born for vengeance, and proceeds to track them down without ever once cracking her frozen expression.

The bits in Kill Bill where The Bride lops the head off a member of the Crazy 88 gang and blood showers in a massive spray were part of the comedy - in this drivel, it's serious. She jams her sword into some guys back, they both freeze while they camera crash-zooms into them, there isn't a drop of blood shed, and then she pulls it out and the guy sprays tomato soup everywhere like a shaken champagne bottle.

Cheap and nasty - the reason those video store cult section adherents love it.

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