Sword of Doom (Japanese, 1966)

2/26/11

Damn, I totally love this UGC (user generated content) remade movie trailer. Coming 1 July, 1966. Gotta love it.

Sword of Doom is one of the best true Samurai flicks you might ever see. Just imagine your favorite action-packed movie, minus the tacky one-liners, the annoying sidekick, the dainty leading lady, and the righteous finale. Then, add amazing swordplay, endless body count, dramatic cinematography, the philosophy of the sword and Samurai and then you got yourself 'Sword of Doom.'

What makes this Kihachi Okamoto film even more appealing is it's plot seamlessly intertwines several other story lines. It's seldom that you can see a film like this; one that follows and narrates a story about a villain. Not just a villain but a sinister, smart, ruthless samurai, which is unusual in it's own cool way. And unlike other films where the villains lack depth or substance, in this samurai movie, we really get to know Ryunosuke Tsukue (Tatsuya Nakadai) inside and out.

Throughout 'Sword of Doom,' as you would expect, the variety of sword fights kicks off —in a quiet forest, in a blazing building, in a snow storm, and many others. Every setting is so vivid, and each fight becomes intense and more in depth as Ryunosuke Tsukue (Tatsuya Nakadai) continues to lose his true Samurai way into madness.

I especially love the snow storm battle scene, when Ryunosuke Tsukue meets with his destined counterpart, Shimada Toranosuke (Toshiro Mifune) for the first time. I guarantee that even if you've never heard of Tatsuya Nakadai before, you'll instantly become a fan after watching this film. He truly gives an epic and deranged performance.

So if you thought the epitome of Japanese Samurai movies was 'Enter The Dragon,' look again and check out a deep action yet artistic classic of 'Sword Of Doom.'

Synopsis

Teeming with some of the most remarkable samurai face-offs in the history of samurai classics, Sword of Doom is a story about Ryunosuke Tsukue (Tatsuya Nakadai), a psychopath yet clever swordsman, who cares only about honing his skills.

Having aced a highly exceptional style of fencing, Ryunosuke accepts a showdown duel with Bunnojo at his fencing school. However, Bunnojo's wife, Ohama, pleas that he let her husband win the match. Ryunosuke agrees to lose if she has sex with him. Being ruthless that he is, Ryunosuke not only has sex with Ohama, but still kills Bunnojo, along with most of Bunnojo's friends who later ambush him after the match.

Two years later, Ohama somewhat reluctantly becomes Ryunosuke's wife. Ryunosuke is now a member of the Shindo organization, a group of samurais searching for more power. But Hyoma, Bunnojo's younger brother, comes to town and trains with the samurai master, Simada (Toshiro Mifune) waiting for the perfect timing to defy and defeat and seek revenge on Ryunosuke. As the story continues further, Ryunosuke's violent tendencies gradually lead him into total madness. He eventually finds himself challenged from every angle—even his own allies unite against him. Sword of Doom concludes with a freeze-frame with Ryunosuke in his unforgettably dramatic mid sword-slash.

'Evil Mind, Evil Sword.' Indeed.