DVD Review “The Great Killing”

Directed by: Eiichi Kudo
Starring: Mikijiro Hira, Yoshio Inaba, Toru Abe
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Animeigo
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Running Time: 118 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1.5 out of 5 stars

“The Great Killing” is the second film in Eiichi Kudo’s Samurai Revolution Trilogy. This film is quite intense for a 1964 B&W samurai film, it is graphic and contains an amazing ending battle scene to rival all battle scenes. Similar to “13 Assassins”, the film is a slow burn that really nails its finale. AnimEigo is responsible for releasing this series on DVD. The last film in the series “Eleven Samurai” will also be released later this year. If AnimEigo is reading this, I would like to see a Blu-ray set of these films in the near future.

“The Great Killing” follows Shogunate Elder who sets out a plan to rule Japan by making the Shogun’s brother Tsunashige, the next Shogun. The best strategist in Japan, Yamaga, leads a plot to stop the Elder, but the plan doesn’t work out and most of the conspirators are captured and tortured. Yamaga and his remaining swordsmen are left to battle through hundreds of guards in order to kill Tsunashige. One of the most amazing fights filmed BTW.

The DVD quality itself looks very sharp in its widescreen 2.35:1 aspect ratio, especially for a 1964 released film. The B&W print is restored really well. Animeigo released this film in its original Japanese audio with various subtitles to choose from. The extras included are nothing special but include trailers, programs notes, cast & crew bios and image gallery.

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